The Los Angeles Angels looked to avenge their most recent series against the Houston Astros after being swept in Houston over a dismal 1-8 road trip, but returning to Angel Stadium wasn’t enough to win a series against a division rival.
Despite a pair of one-run games on Tuesday and Thursday, the Angels couldn’t hang on in the bullpen or at the plate, both playing their own part in the series loss. The middle game was much of the same for Shohei Ohtani, who received his second consecutive All-Star selection. His electric performance both at the plate and on the mound led the club to their lone win.
Mike Trout was removed from Tuesday’s game with upper back spasms, and manager Phil Nevin opted to rest his centerfielder for the next two days.
Game 1: Angels lose 6-5
Noah Syndergaard quickly put the Angels in a hole after allowing a two-run home run to Aledmys Diaz following a leadoff single to Jose Altuve. His issues continued as he failed to put hitters away while allowing three earned runs over just four innings of work. After Andrew Wantz allowed a pair of runs in the top half of the sixth, the Angels’ offense was gifted four runs in the bottom of the seventh and tied the game.
The Astros received a stellar outing from right-hander Luis Garcia after he held the Angels to only one hit over six innings while striking out seven, unfortunately, he didn’t factor in the decision.
However, Raisel Iglesias continued his string of erratic outings after walking Altuve to lead off the ninth inning. A single by Diaz put runners on the corners for Kyle Tucker, who double in a run to give the Astros a 6-5 lead, which would end up being the final score.
Game 2: Angels win 7-1
Ohtani captured the night with a historic showing in his 15th start of the season. His 12-strikeout performance extended his streak of double-digit punchout games, which now stands at four, and was the first since Nolan Ryan. Ohtani’s triple in the second inning was also the first by a pitcher since Ryan on June 27, 1972
At the plate, the Angels went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and after scoring three in the bottom of the second, and four runs in the sixth, the bullpen shut out the Astros the rest of the way.
Game 3: Angels lose 3-2
With Trout still nursing the back issue, the Angels’ offense struggled to get anything going and despite eight hits, they only mustered to put up two runs. After a strong showing the night before, they went 0-for-9 with RISP and left 14 runners on base.
The Astros bullpen shredded the Angels from the seventh inning on, combining four six strikeouts over the final four frames. Reid Detmers pitched well enough to keep the club in the game with six innings over two-run baseball, but the offense did not show up.
With the game heading into extra innings tied at two a piece, the Astros manufactured a run in the top half of the 10th inning with a sacrifice fly and a single. The Angels went quietly in the bottom half and were retired in order.
Make sure to follow Angels Nation on Twitter for all the latest news and updates surrounding the Halos!