The Los Angeles Angels have long struggled with one of their American League West rivals, the Houston Astros. 2022 was no different, as the final meeting between the two teams led to an Astros 2-1 series win.
Despite the Angels remaining competitive in the first two games of the series, it was all Astros in the finale, cementing a 13-6 season series victory for Houston. This only added to a sub-.400 win percentage that the Angels have had against the Astros since the latter moved to the AL West.
L.A. got some elite performances from Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout in this series, but the Astros continued to flex their depth in all phases of the game. They won their 90th game of the season, the second team in MLB to reach that mark.
Here, we break down the 1-2 effort by the Halos and give a look ahead to the second leg of their road trip as they travel North to Cleveland.
Game 1: Astros def. Angels 4-3
The Angels were in control for much of the series opener in Houston. Michael Lorenzen — in his return from the IL — was able to strand runners on base despite high walk totals, keeping the game scoreless all the way to the sixth inning.
There, Trout hit a two-run home run to give the Angels the lead. It was his fifth consecutive game with a home run, tying the Angels franchise record previously set by Bobby Bonds in 1977. Lorenzen finally cracked and gave up a solo home run to Jeremy Peña in the bottom of the sixth.
The Angels led 2-1 when Chas McCormick took to the plate in the seventh. With Trey Mancini on base, McCormick blasted a two-run shot off of Andrew Wantz to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Each team would score one more run on the night, with the Astros maintaining their lead the rest of the way.
Game 2: Angels def. Astros 6-1
With Ohtani on the mound, the Angels knew they had a legitimate chance to even the series. And although Ohtani wasn’t perfect — 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K — before leaving the game with a blister, he did enough to keep the Angels in the lead.
Trout’s three-run home run in the second inning was the dagger for the Angels, as it gave them a 5-1 lead. It also gave Trout sole possession of the longest home run streak in Angels history, hitting one in six consecutive games.
The Angels bullpen held strong despite Ohtani’s abrupt departure, setting up a Sunday afternoon rubber match.
Game 3: Astros def. Angels 12-4
The Halos scored four runs on 11 hits — including an Ohtani home run — showing a relatively strong offensive rhythm against a great starter in Luis Garcia. However, Angels pitchers had no answers for the Astros.
Tucker Davidson (2.0 IP, 4 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K) had his season ERA jump to 6.96, while Mike Mayers (3.1 IP, 5 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K) struggled in long relief. Jose Marte gave up three earned runs of his own on two hits and two walks in the later innings.
The Astros won 12-4 to secure yet another series victory against the Angels. Now, L.A> heads up to Ohio to face the Cleveland Guardians and finish off a six-game road trip.