Week ahead for Angels: Series at Texas before hosting Astros at Big A

The week ahead 

A make-up date with a one-day stop in Cleveland on Monday, which resulted in a 12-3 Angels victory. The month that includes 23 games in 23 days, including 10 straight on the road to start, continues with the aforementioned make-up date in Cleveland followed by three in Texas. The club returns home for a weekend series against the Astros. All games can be seen on FOX Sports West.

The week behind 

The week started off a little rough, suffering a two-game mini sweep in Houston. The Astros continued their trend of playing the Angels tough since joining the division. The Halos’ fortunes changed in Minnesota where they swept a four-game series against the Twins. It was the fifth sweep of a four-game series for the Angels this season.

Record and standings 

The club continues to own the best record in the majors, 87-55, entering Monday. After winning four of six, they’ll take the field Monday with a seven-game lead in the American League West. Only the Orioles hold a larger divisional lead, 9.5 games, among American League teams.

Thumb’s up

Saturday was a history making night in the illustrious career of Angels first baseman Albert Pujols. He scored his 1,500th career run on a third inning solo home run in the 8-5 win over the Twins. Also  that night, he drove in two runs on a double in the ninth inning to put the Angels on top for good. The hit was the 2,500th of his Major League career. Pujols is just the 98th player in MLB history to record 2,500 hits.

Thumb’s down

Josh Hamilton missed the final three games of the Twins series while trying to nurse a shoulder injury. In an attempt to play through the injury, Hamilton was just 2-for-11 in three games. On Sunday, he was scheduled to return to the lineup but was a late scratch after having complications during batting practice.

Player to watch

With all of the ups and downs, highs and lows the Angels rotation has experienced this season, it’s C.J. Wilson who is the lone healthy starter with an ERA over 4.00. Following Sunday’s win, Wilson is now 11-9 on the season with a 4.64 ERA. … and the Angels are just 14-13 in his starts. Four times this season, he’s picked up wins in consecutive starts. Wilson will likely take the mound again during the weekend series against the Astros — a team he has not fared well against in recent outings … this season, Wilson is 1-2 with a 8.35 ERA against Houston.

Stat to watch 

16. The number of home runs Angels pitching has given up to the Astros this season — the most of any opponent.

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"It’s a great accomplishment. It’s one of those things that I share with so many people that helped me along the way and (are) still helping me in my career."  — Angels first baseman Albert Pujols on 2,500th career hit.