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Sun, Sep 15, 2013 - 2:10 PM ET
 

Angels-Astros Preview

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Jerome Williams was hardly at his best in his most recent game but earned a win thanks to some impressive run support from the Los Angeles Angels.

He hasn't been nearly as fortunate in matchups with the Houston Astros this season.

Williams will try to earn his third straight victory and lead the Angels to their fifth in six games in Sunday's series finale in Houston.

Williams (7-10, 4.81 ERA) gave up six runs - one shy of matching a season high - over five innings Tuesday in Toronto but benefited from Los Angeles' 12-6 rout.

"He just didn't look like he was able to get his sinker where he wanted to and struggled through five innings," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Williams is 0-2 in his three starts against the Astros this season despite a respectable 3.06 ERA in those games. He's received only one run of support.

Williams, though, also wasn't efficient in his most recent matchup Aug. 16, needing 99 pitches to get through 4 1-3 innings. He suffered the loss in that 8-2 defeat.

The Angels (71-77), however, head into this game having batted .309 during a 7-3 stretch. They're also hitting .328 with runners in scoring position while winning 16 of 22.

Howie Kendrick hit an RBI double in his second game back from the disabled list Saturday and helped spark a three-run fourth inning in a 6-2 victory over Houston (51-97).

Kendrick, batting .301 this season, is 3 for 9 since returning from a sprained left knee. Chris Iannetta hit his fifth homer in 11 games and second in this series, which followed a 9-7 loss Friday.

"I didn't really have many expectations coming back to playing every day," Kendrick told the team's website.

The Astros are 10-8 against the Angels this season and have clinched the season series. They're above .500 versus only one other AL opponent, going 4-3 against the Chicago White Sox.

Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.91) will try to lead Houston to another win over its AL West rivals after being scratched before his latest start. The right-hander, who has no record and a 3.72 ERA in his first two major league starts, developed a blister on his right middle finger.

"It's tough," Clemens told the team's website. "I pride myself on staying away from that DL and missing time. ... But instead of missing three or four starts, go ahead and miss one and hopefully finish the season."

Kendrick, batting .345 in his last seven games against Houston, is 1 for 3 against Clemens. Erick Aybar hit a solo homer in his lone at-bat versus the right-hander.

After being activated from the disabled list Friday, J.D. Martinez could return to the lineup. Martinez, out since July 26 because of a sprained left wrist, is 3 for 6 lifetime against Williams.

Tagged: Angels, Astros, Jerome Williams, Howie Kendrick

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