MLB

Sun, Aug 18, 2013 - 3:35 PM ET
 

Astros-Angels Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Josh Hamilton and the Los Angeles Angels showed signs of improvement offensively at home while ending a franchise-worst losing streak against AL West opponents.

That's a trend Jason Vargas hopes continues Sunday when he tries to lead the Angels to their second win in seven home meetings with the Houston Astros.

Hamilton broke out of his lengthy slump at Angel Stadium with a walk-off home run in Saturday's 6-5, 10-inning victory. Los Angeles (55-67) hadn't won a division game since beating Oakland on July 25, snapping a team-record 10-game skid.

While Hamilton is batting .400 with 14 RBIs during a 10-game road hitting streak, he had been hitting .054 (2 for 37) in his previous 10 at home before Saturday's 2-for-5 performance.

"Everybody I've talked to says players go through seasons like this, and this is the first season I've ever gone through like this,'' said Hamilton, hitting a career-low .227 but with five home runs in his last 14 games against the Astros.

Teammate Mark Trumbo added his 27th home run as the Angels ended a five-game home skid to major league-worst Houston (40-82) in which they averaged 2.0 runs and hit .211.

Los Angeles looks to build on Saturday's 12-hit performance with Vargas (6-5, 3.86 ERA) starting the series finale.

Vargas showed some rust in his first start since having surgery to remove a blood clot from near his left armpit on June 26, allowing four runs and eight hits - two homers - over 4 1-3 innings in Tuesday's 14-7 loss at Yankee Stadium.

"I think he threw the ball a little better than maybe some things are going to show," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's building into a little bit of stamina and he'll be better next time.''

The left-hander hopes to make that progression and improve on his 5-1 record and 3.13 ERA in eight home starts.

Vargas, though, did not pitch well against the Astros on May 9, allowing a season high-tying five runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings before the Angels rallied late for a 6-5 road win May 9.

Jose Altuve went 3 for 3 when facing Vargas in that contest, while Matt Dominguez was 2 for 2 with three RBIs. Vargas has done a nice job against Chris Carter, who is 1 for 12 with six strikeouts in this matchup.

Carter, however, is 8 for 20 with three homers and 10 RBIs over a six-game hitting streak in Anaheim. Robbie Grossman has also been on a road tear, batting .438 during a 12-game run there.

The Astros will attempt to regroup with their fourth win in six games by giving the ball to rookie Brett Oberholtzer (2-1, 2.57).

After posting a 7.36 ERA in three relief appearances, the left-hander has been superb since joining the rotation. He's 2-1 with a 0.87 ERA in three starts and is holding opponents to a .187 batting average during that span.

Oberholtzer pitched well enough to win Monday, allowing two runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 2-1 loss to Yu Darvish and Texas.

He might have to figure out a way to retire Mike Trout, who looks to extend his on-base streak to 40 consecutive games. The All-Star is batting .400 in an eight-game home hitting streak against the Astros.

Tagged: Angels, Astros, Josh Hamilton, Jason Vargas

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..