This is why the
With nine of 10 games on a four-city trip to Houston, Minnesota and Texas — teams that entered the week a combined 68 games under .500 — the Angels had an excellent chance to pad an
Or so it seemed.
Chris Carter hit a two-run home run and a solo shot, giving him 35 homers on the season, and right-hander Collin McHugh shut down the Angels again in a 4-1 victory that sealed the
Not exactly a rousing start to the trip for the Angels, whose only consolation was that their division lead still stood at 41/2 games after the
"You have to come in and not take teams like this for granted," said Angels ace Jered Weaver, who took the loss despite a solid six-inning, two-run, five-hit effort.
"It's the major leagues. Any team can win at any time. We still have to go out and perform. Luckily, the A's lost a couple as well, so it doesn't hurt us too bad, but it would have been nice to get a couple of wins here and extend the lead a little."
McHugh wouldn't let them Wednesday night, limiting the Angels to one run and four hits in 72/3 innings, striking out eight and walking none to improve to 4-0 with a 1.79 earned-run average in seven starts since the beginning of August and 2-2 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts against the Angels this season.
"He threw the ball well," said Angels leadoff batter Kole Calhoun, who had two of his team's four hits. "He mixed his pitches, threw strikes, attacked the zone, all the stuff you have to do to be successful. We didn't swing the bats very well."
Middle-of-the-order hitters Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and
Freese hit .330 in a 25-game stretch from July 31-Aug. 26, raising his average from .239 to .261, but Manager
"We still have high hopes that David will be a big part of our offense, because when he's right, he's an RBI machine," Scioscia said. "We're definitely hopeful that he's going to contribute the way he can, but if we have to mix and match a bit to get him going or to get a little more offense, we will."
The Astros lost 111 games in 2013 but still won 10 of 19 games against the Angels. The Angels have won 10 of 16 games against Houston this season, but the fourth-place Astros gave them fits this week.