MLB

Angels-Astros Preview

Though the Los Angeles Angels may have bolstered their offense with the additions of three veterans over the past two days, the focus remains on getting Mike Trout back in the lineup.

It's uncertain if the ailing star will be available Wednesday night when the visiting Angels try to maintain their slim AL West lead over the Houston Astros.

A day after Los Angeles (55-44) acquired Shane Victorino and followed with Tuesday's additions of fellow outfielders David DeJesus and David Murphy, Trout sat out a 10-5 loss with a wrist injury suffered Sunday. Considered day to day, Trout is batting .397 while hitting 10 of his major league-leading 31 home runs in his last 15 games.

''It looks like it's moving in the right direction," said manager Mike Scioscia, whose team has dropped four of five after winning 17 of 20. "Just not quite where it needs to be.

"You're always mindful and hopeful that everything's going to come out for the best, so we'll just wait and see."

After the Astros (56-45) trimmed Los Angeles' AL West lead to percentage points, they could see a different lineup with Victorino, Murphy and DeJesus potentially all available to man a left field spot from which the Angels hit .212 prior to Victorino going 1 for 4 on Tuesday.

"They're veteran guys that have played in very important games before, including the postseason,'' Angels interim general manager Bill Stoneman said. ''That sort of experience should help us as we approach September and hopefully the postseason.''

Stoneman also mentioned one of the three could see time in Trout's absence.

"Hopefully (Trout) won't miss a whole lot of time, but if he happens to, maybe one of these guys could be the one that fills in for him," Stoneman said.

Looking to regroup, the Angels hand the ball to Garrett Richards (10-7, 3.25 ERA).

The right-hander is 5-3 with a 2.34 ERA in his last eight starts, lasting at least seven innings in six. After tossing a two-hitter against Boston on July 18, Richards gave up a three-run homer in the fourth of the eight innings he went in Thursday's 3-0 loss to Minnesota.

''It cost us the game,'' Richards said. "If I execute my pitch right there, I'm out of the inning.''

He's 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA against the Astros this season.

Batting .320 versus Richards and .500 (15 for 30) with 10 RBIs in his last seven home games against Los Angeles, Jose Altuve had three hits and a career-high five RBIs as Houston broke out for 14 hits. It totaled two runs and 11 hits in dropping the final two at Kansas City last weekend.

''If you are able to drive those runs in this situation against the Angels, tied or in first place, it has to be good,'' Altuve said. ''I want to keep doing things for my team to win.''

Rookie shortstop Carlos Correa is 7 for 15 with two homers and six RBIs in his last three games against the Angels.

Over his last three starts, teammate Lance McCullers (4-3, 2.60) is 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA, walked nine overall and lasted six or fewer innings in each. He gave up two runs, six hits and walked three in five innings of a 5-4 win over the Red Sox on Thursday.

The rookie right-hander also walked three but yielded a run in six innings of a 2-1, 13-inning loss at Anaheim on June 24.

DeJesus is 2 for his last 20 but 2 for 3 with a triple against McCullers this season.

Third baseman Conor Gillaspie is 5 for 12 with two doubles and three RBIs in three games since Los Angeles acquired him from the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

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