AT THE PLATE: The Angels, who lost for only the third time in 11 games, had five singles in 8 2/3 innings against Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, but only two, by Albert Pujols, left the infield. Mike Trout probably cost Keuchel his second straight shutout when he beat out a routine grounder to second for a single with two out in the ninth. Houston Manager Bo Porter let Keuchel, whose pitch count was at 124, face Pujols. When Pujols singled, Porter pulled Keuchel in favor of Josh Zeid, who gave up a two-run triple to Howie Kendrick before getting C.J. Cron to ground to third, ending the game.
ON THE MOUND: Hector Santiago retired six batters in the eighth and ninth, his first relief appearance in eight days and second since being demoted to the bullpen on May 9. The left-hander is gradually losing the endurance he built up as a starter, and at some point the Angels must decide whether he would be better off starting at triple A. “You're always evaluating what's best for a player, what's best for your roster,” Manager Mike Scioscia said, “but we haven't come to any decisions yet.”
BACK IN ACTION: Reliever Dane De La Rosa said his shoulder felt “great” after last week's cortisone injection and Sunday's 30-pitch bullpen workout, and he will resume his minor league rehabilitation stint Tuesday at Salt Lake. The right-hander believes it will take “a couple more outings” before he is ready to return to the Angels.
REHAB REPORT: Right fielder Kole Calhoun (right ankle sprain) was two for five with a double and two RBIs, and third baseman David Freese (right middle finger fracture) hit a solo homer for triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Calhoun is expected back with the Angels this week; Freese is expected to be activated for Tuesday night's game against the Astros. … Reliever Sean Burnett is nearing a return from elbow surgery, having thrown a perfect inning Monday for double-A Arkansas, his fourth straight scoreless outing. Scioscia said the left-hander's stuff is “where you'd like to see it, but we want to make sure it's going to stick.”
EXTRA BASES: Collin Cowgill, who is batting .301, did not start Monday night because of tightness in his hip flexor, but Scioscia said the outfielder was available off the bench. … The Angels extended their player development agreement with Salt Lake, their triple-A affiliate since 2001, by two years, through 2016.
UP NEXT: Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (3-1, 4.53 ERA) will oppose Houston right-hander Scott Feldman (2-1, 2.63) at Angel Stadium at 7 p.m. On the air: FS West; Radio: 830.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times