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Angels drop fifth in a row with 6-2 loss to the Astros

Angels drop fifth in a row with 6-2 loss to the Astros
Astros pitcher Charlie Morton is late with the tag as Angels outfielder Justin Upton scores on a wild pitch in the first inning Sunday. (Richard Carson / Associated Press)

Charlie Morton left Houston's 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, who have lost five in arow, on Sunday after one inning because of discomfort in his pitching shoulder, a potential problem for the World Series champions as they attempt to win consecutive AL West titles.

The 34-year-old right-hander did not pitch for the Astros from Aug. 28 until Sept. 8 because of right shoulder discomfort. He won his first two starts following his stint on the disabled list, allowing four runs in 11 innings.

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Morton threw 24 pitches in the first. He gave up a double to Justin Upton, who scored from second on a wild pitch in the dirt that bounced off the glove of catcher Martin Maldonado, who initially had trouble finding the ball.

AL West-leading Houston started the day 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Oakland.

Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run homer, giving him three homers and 10 RBIs in the three-game series, and Evan Gattis had three hits and two RBIs.

Framber Valdez (4-1) followed Morton and struck out a career-high nine in six innings, allowing one run and three hits. He had been scheduled to start Wednesday at Toronto.

Tyler Skaggs (8-9) gave up four runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings, the fourth straight start he failed to last four innings. Skaggs has given up 22 runs in that span.

Gurriel hit a two-run homer in the first, extending his hitting streak to nine games, and Gattis added an RBI single for a 3-1 lead.

Gattis added an RBI single in the fifth off Jim Johnson, and Angels rookie Jose Briceno homered in the sixth. Josh Reddick drew a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk from Williams Jerez in the seventh.

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