Game No. 46: Los Angeles Angels (25-20) vs. Houston Astros (17-29)

By Jose Serrano

Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

David Freese was nearly as productive in last night’s return from the disabled list as he was in the first 24 games as an Angel. The former All-Star had two hits and a season-high four RBIs to lead the Angels past Houston, 9-3.

Freese missed 16 games with a non-displaced fracture in his middle finger and rehabilitated with Triple-A Salt Lake over the weekend. It’s a welcomed return for an injury-plagued team that just put Collin Cowgill on the DL; the third outfielder sidelined this season, alongside Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton. Freese is 8-for-20 since April 28, raising his batting average to .213 in the span.

The Angels have won nine of their last 12 games but still trail the surging Oakland A’s by four. The in-state rivals begin a three-game series in Oakland a week from tomorrow.

Pitching MatchupJered Weaver (4-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. Collin McHugh (2-2, 3.48 ERA)

For all the talk about Jered Weaver’s declining velocity, he’s still among the league leaders in ERA, WHIP (1.10), and opponent batting average (.214). The right hander hasn’t allowed more than two runs in an outing since April 12, including last Friday’s loss to Tampa Bay in which he gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings.

Weaver is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts against the Astros. The former 20-game winner yielded five runs in less than six innings against the Astros April 6, giving up four home runs for the first time since 2008.

Collin McHugh makes his first career start against the Angels after allowing four runs in six innings to the Chicago White Sox in his last outing. McHugh’s promising start-one earned run and 19 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings- is marred by a 6.32 ERA in the following three starts. Freese is the only Halo that’s faced McHugh, going 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Walk offs:

  1. Hamilton is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday.
  2. The Angels were 10-6 in Freese’s absence.
  3. Last night, Mike Trout had his first multi-hit game since April 28.

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

Radio: KLAA 830, KBME 790