Angels slowed by Keuchel, fall 4-2 to Astros
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Things started promisingly for the Angels.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each hit solo home runs in the first inning. Jered Weaver's offspeed stuff frustrated the Astros.
Los Angeles couldn't capitalize, though, flailing away against Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel the rest of the night and ending up with a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday.
Keuchel (3-6) had been struggling for most of the season and started the night 2-6 with a 5.92 ERA. He found a groove Saturday, though, retiring the final 18 batters he faced after allowing a leadoff single to Johnny Giavotella in the second.
''We didn't get good looks on him after the first inning,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Weaver (4-4) allowed a first-inning run after George Springer led off the game with a double and ultimately scored on a groundout. After the homers from Trout and Pujols in the bottom of the inning, Houston tied it in the fifth when Jose Altuve followed a pair of singles with a sacrifice fly.
Weaver continued to spot the ball well, though his fastball never went over 86 mph and his curve dipped below 70 mph.
''We had a hard time early, getting a little anxious,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''He lulls you to sleep and gets you in the rocking chair, back and forth. Gets you very comfortable getting out.''
Jason Castro broke through with a two-run homer in the sixth, and Keuchel and the Astros bullpen took it from there.
''Obviously the defining blow of the night,'' Hinch said.
Trout's line-drive home run and Pujols' shot out to left were the 11th of the season for both hitters. It was the first time this season they hit back-to-back home runs.
Trout is now one of eight players in baseball history to collect 150 home runs and score 500 runs in his age 24-season or younger. The others: Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Robinson and Pujols.
The Angels are getting some solid offense from Giavotella. He has now hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games. He's hit .375 (30 for 80) in May to raise his average from .182 to .292.
Astros: Unlike the Angels, who have nine players on the disabled list, Houston has only one (Carlos Gomez, rib bruise). ''Everyone else is peachy,'' manager A.J. Hinch said. ''I look around and there a few teams that have been a little less fortunate.''
Angels: RHP Tim Lincecum threw 75 pitches in five innings of an extended spring training game Saturday. He is expected to make a rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Salt Lake. The Angels hope he can join the rotation by mid-June. ... Closer Huston Street (oblique strain) also threw 20 pitches in the camp game and could soon rejoin the Angels.
Astros: RHP Doug Fister (4-3) is scheduled to start for Houston on Sunday. Fister has gone at least five innings in each of his previous nine starts but never more than seven innings.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano (3-2) will attempt to match the results of his last start - 6 2/3 scoreless innings on four hits against the Rangers - in the series finale against the Astros. Tropeano has won consecutive starts for the first time in his career.