Dallas Keuchel pitched seven strong innings and Jason Castro homered in Houston's 6-3 win over the Angels Friday night.
Keuchel (2-2), who was moved into the rotation May 10, scattered six hits, fanned four and gave up two runs.
Carlos Pena had three hits, drove in a run and scored once for the Astros, who won for the fourth time in five games.
"I tried to stay within myself, when you look at the standings, we're not doing well, but we want to dwell on the positive," said Pena. "We want to play the best baseball we can. I'm pleased with the way we're coming together."
Tommy Hanson (2-2) returned after taking three weeks away from the team to deal with the aftermath of the death of his stepbrother. He was charged with eight hits and five runs -- four earned -- over 6 1/3 frames.
"It was good being out there, but it didn't go the way I wanted it to go," said Hanson. "I felt like I threw a lot of strikes. As a starter, you want to go as long as you can."
Erick Aybar clubbed a solo homer for the Angels, who had split four games with the Dodgers this week.
Ahead by a run, the Astros got three big insurance runs in the seventh inning, two on RBI base hits from Brandon Barnes and Pena. The other score came courtesy of Howie Kendrick's throwing error.
Paul Clemens served up Aybar's homer in the eighth and the Angels put runners at the corners later in the inning. Travis Blackley retired Josh Hamilton on a pop-up to third base to end the threat.
Jose Veras pitched the final inning for his ninth save.
Chris Iannetta had an RBI single and Chris Nelson plated a run on a groundout in the second inning to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
Castro led off the third with a homer to center. J.D. Martinez singled and Pena doubled before Chris Carter lifted a sacrifice fly to left. Jimmy Paredes singled to right to put runners at the corners again and Matt Dominguez lofted a sacrifice fly to right. Pena scored partly because the throw home was cut off by Hanson, and Iannetta was also near the mound.
The Astros placed pitcher Edgar Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list and activated pitcher Josh Fields from the 15-day DL ... Houston has won four of the seven meetings this year ... Aybar had two of the Angels' seven hits.