Game No. 45: Los Angeles Angels (24-20) vs. Houston Astros (17-28)

By Jose Serrano

May 10, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs (45) walks off the field in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Los Angeles Angels won 5-3.Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

At this pace, the only way Los Angeles is going to catch Oakland is if the bay area rival loses steam.

The Halos have won three series in a row and eight of their last 11 games but remain four back of the division-leading A’s, who’ve only lost once since May 7. That makes games against non-contenders, like Houston, that much more important.

Last night, Astros starter Dallas Keuchel buried Angels hitters through 8 2/3 innings, yielding two runs on five hits, although the runs came after he was pulled in the ninth. Meanwhile, Garrett Richards didn’t record an out until the sixth batter faced. He settled down as the game went along but not before Houston stung him for five runs.

Pitching MatchupTyler Skaggs (3-1, 4.53 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman (2-1, 2.63 ERA)

Seven of Tyler Skaggs’ eight starts ended with a Halo victory, thanks in large part to an offense averaging over five runs per outing. The left-hander’s consistently inconsistent; carrying a 1.57 ERA in three road victories, but winless with a 6.91 ERA at Angel Stadium. Last Thursday, he surrendered five runs through six innings to Tampa Bay and would have taken the loss were it not for Mike Trout’s walk-off home run.

Skaggs gave up an unearned run through eight innings in a start against Houston earlier this year. The 22-year-old has lasted through the sixth inning in all but one start this season; pitching 2 2/3 in a 14-3 loss to Texas May 4.

Scott Feldman is 5-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 22 appearances against the Angels. On April 6, he scattered three hits through seven innings in Houston’s 7-4 victory and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning.

The long-time Ranger is in the midst of a career resurgence after struggling with the Cubs and Orioles last season. Like Jered Weaver, Feldman is adjusting to a loss in velocity. He’s averaging a career-low 4.3 strikeouts per game but keeps the Astros in contention; allowing two runs or less in four of six starts.

Walk offs:

  1. The Angels and Astros have split their last 24 games, dating back to 2013.
  2. Erick Aybar is 10-for-22 with two triples lifetime against Feldman.
  3. Despite last night’s outing, Richards still leads Angels starters with a 2.90 ERA.

TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, CSN

Radio: KLAA 830, KBME 790