By Pete Zarustica
Well, that hurt.
The Los Angeles Angels not only got thumped 7-2 by the Houston Astros Saturday night, but the loss ended their one-day stint in fourth place in the American League West. After winning 10 of 12 games and six straight, the Halos have dropped two in a row in what a labor mediator would have to call a “cooling off period.”
Jered Weaver, who pitched a brainy gem in his last outing, couldn’t do the math in Houston this time, giving up seven hits – two of them home runs – and six hits in four innings. He struck out one batter and walked three as his record slipped to 8-8.
Both of those round-trippers were by Evan Gattis, slamming his 14th and 15th home runs of the season. He ended up with four runs batted in.
That was two more than the Angels could muster. They were behind 6-0 before they could cross the plate, tallying single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Andrelton Simmons continued his hot hitting with two hits and one RBI. He’s batting .276 now.
“He’s comfortable,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Simmons. “I think he’s getting comfortable with the league, getting comfortable with being in different environments, different stadiums. There’s always adjustments, and you never know exactly how they’re going to play out. I think the thing with Simba is he’s a better hitter than he showed the first month.”
Leadoff man Yunel Escobar has also continued to hit well, with two singles and a run scored.
However, the big guns in the lineup – Mike Trout and Albert Pujols – went a combined 0-for-7, and left six runners on base, striking out four times.
The Angels are now 43-54 and back in last place in the AL West. The series with the Astros (53-44) continues on Sunday. The Angels then head to Kansas City on Monday to start a three-game set. They will next be back in Anaheim on Thursday to host the Boston Red Sox.