Lance McCullers

Angels beat up on the Astros in 9-1 win

Angels beat up on the Astros in 9-1 win

Standing so far out of first place presents occasional advantages.

After they lost to Houston late Tuesday, the Angels received a bit of good news: Instead of drawing the Astros’ talented Lance McCullers on Wednesday, they would face Mike Fiers, an inconsistent long reliever.

Houston’s stated reason for scratching McCullers was arm fatigue he felt in a game of catch. Surely, their 14-game American League West lead on the Angels played a role too: They would like to preserve McCullers for the postseason.

The Angels took the stroke of luck and thrashed Fiers in a 9-1 victory at Angel Stadium. They scored a run before he could record an out and five before he could...

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