Angels Lose Trout, Drop Another To Astros 7-5
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — When the Los Angeles Angels sift through the wreckage of their season in six weeks, their inability to beat the major leagues’ worst team consistently at home is certain to be one of their most embarrassing discoveries.
Matt Dominguez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Houston Astros beat the Angels 7-5 on Sunday for their seventh win in 10 games at the Big A this year.
Josh Hamilton homered and tripled for Los Angeles, but couldn’t stop another loss to the Astros, who have beaten the Angels for nine of their 41 wins overall.
“It’s frustrating losing to anybody,” said Hamilton, who delivered his 19th homer. “It doesn’t matter who it is. If it was the Yankees in here today, or the Rangers, it would be just as frustrating. It’s one of those things where you’re playing a team with that kind of a record, but you don’t want to relax or take anything for granted. I’m not saying that we’re doing that, but some years, some teams have your number. That’s how it goes.”
One last humiliating home loss to the Astros nearly turned out to be even worse: Mike Trout had two hits for the Angels before leaving in the sixth inning with right hamstring tightness.
The All-Star outfielder doesn’t believe his injury is serious, but it’s just another worry for the Angels, who have lost 11 of 16 and 23 of 34.
“It’s all right. I’m just sore,” said Trout, second in the AL at with a .333 average. “It’s not like it popped or anything. It was just a little grabbing, so it shouldn’t be too serious. … I’ll see how it is tomorrow. I came out just because I didn’t want it to get worse. It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t be out there. For me as a speed guy, I’ve got to take care of my legs.”
Trout went 2 for 3 with a third-inning double, but left the game after flying out in the fifth. He reached base for the 40th straight game, extending the majors’ longest current streak.
The long-struggling Hamilton had another big performance to follow up his extra-inning homer Saturday night, while Mark Trumbo drove in three runs and hit his 28th homer late in the Angels’ sixth loss in eight games.
Brett Oberholtzer (3-1) blew an early three-run lead, but pitched six effective innings during Houston’s sixth win in its past seven games at Angel Stadium.
He gave up seven hits and struck out four in his fourth major league start, even retiring nine of his final 10 batters after Hamilton’s tying homer.
“After all the offseason acquisitions they made, I remember thinking, `They’re going to have a great team,”‘ Oberholtzer said of the Angels. “And they do. They’re putting it together. They’re able to put up 10 runs a night. That’s what they’re capable of. I think we did a great job minimizing the damage (and) keeping the big innings at bay.”
Rookie Kevin Chapman got pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos to ground into a game-ending double play, earning his first career save.
Jason Vargas recovered from an awful beginning to his first home start in two months to pitch into the sixth for the Angels, allowing seven hits — all in the first three innings.
The left-hander walked three and struck out three in his second start since returning from injury.
Dominguez tied his career high with four hits in his native Southern California, while L.J. Hoes had his first career homer among his three hits in the Astros’ fourth win in six games.
Dominguez homered on the first pitch after Angels reliever Juan Gutierrez (0-4) intentionally walked Carlos Corporan.
“They just wanted a matchup, I think,” said Dominguez, a San Fernando Valley native who left 15 tickets for family. “He hung the slider, and I got it good. Feels good. I guess they had confidence they could get me out more than they did Carlos. That’s how baseball is. No hard feelings or anything. I’ll just go up and try to do what I can.”
The Astros won back-to-back series this week for the first time in roughly two months. They scored 20 runs while taking two of three games at the Big A, winning with offense after a pitching-dominated series earlier in the week in Oakland, where they also took two of three from the Athletics.
“At some point, we’re going to start to get our breaks,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “We’re swinging the bats real well, and we’re getting good starting pitching.”
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