A 10-game road trip to Seattle, Oakland, and Houston ended as miserably as it started for the Angels. Tyler Skaggs dropped his third straight decision and the Halos’ 3-4-5 hitters went 0-for-12 in their 8-5 loss to the Astros.
Worries about Mike Trout’s back were put to rest with his first-inning triple. Albert Pujols’ sac fly brought him home, giving the Angels and early 1-0 lead. The RBI was the only ounce of offense Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Howie Kendrick would produce, going hitless against Houston starter Brad Peacock (2-4). The Astros answered swiftly on a George Springer sac fly half an inning later.
Skaggs (4-4) limited Houston batters to three hits through the first three frames before his erratic tendencies kicked in. In the fourth, top prospect Jon Singleton singled to right and immediately stole second. Skaggs’ curveball got away from Chris Iannetta and Singleton advanced to third. After Chris Carter walked, Robbie Grossman laid down a bunt directly in front of Skaggs, giving the speedy Singleton more than enough time to score.
The Angels pulled to within one run in the top of the fifth. Erick Aybar singled to center, scoring Iannetta, and Trout followed with an RBI double down the left field line. Trout went 2-for-5 in his first full game since May 30. He leads the team in batting average (.295), RBIs (39), and on-base percentage (.379).
After five innings, four runs, and seven hits, Skaggs was pulled in favor of Mike Morin. Morin and Kevin Jepsen pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings before recent call-up Cam Bedrosian walked four of five batters faced. Houston exploded to an 8-3 in the eight as Bedrosian and Fernando Salas combined to give up four runs on two hits and four walks.
A ninth-inning Angels rally proved futile. They loaded the bases but only managed two runs. Trout and Pujols each came up to bat as the tying run but couldn’t get the ball out of the infield.
Division rivals went 7-3 against the Angels over the road trip and a 1 ½ game deficit to division-leading Oakland stretched to five in that span.