The Angels were swept in a three-game series at Houston on Sunday, and in the process made a bit of dubious history.
Los Angeles hitters struck out 20 times against Astros pitchers, tying the record for the most in a nine-inning game in MLB history. The Angels are the eighth team to reach that mark, and the first since the Tigers on May 28, 2019.
Angels hitters swung at 55 pitches during the game and whiffed 25 times. All 12 batters who made at least one plate appearance struck out at least once, with seven players striking out multiple times. Rookie second baseman Michael Stefanic, who was making his MLB debut, struck out in each of his three plate appearances.
The Angels entered the game as the easiest lineup to punch out, with a 25.9% strikeout rate through their first 80 games. Three-time MVP Mike Trout had a particularly tough time making contact over the weekend. In three games, the center fielder went 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts.
Astros starter Framber Valdez did most of the work, striking out 13 batters over six innings. The bullpen took things over from there, with Hector Neris, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly retiring all nine batters they faced, with each working one inning. The trio had seven strikeouts combined, with Pressly notching three and Neris and Montero each recording two.