By Pete Zarustica
This was truly one that got away. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim blew both a late lead and a golden opportunity as they lost 7-5 to the Houston Astros Sunday at the Big A.
The result of the loss was that the Halos (66-65) remained tied for second place in the American League West with the Seattle Mariners, and fell another game back in the AL wild card race. They are now 1.5 games behind in their bid for the second spot at the post-season.
Trailing 4-0, the Angels rallied for three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, and took a 5-4 lead into the top of the eighth. But the Astros (79-51) got a three-run triple from Brian McCann to regain the lead.
The Halos were able to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth with Albert Pujols – who already had two hits – at bat. But the Angel DH lined out to center to end the game.
It all made Ben Revere’s three-run double in the fifth and Luis Valbuena’s two-run home run in the sixth not quite enough. Cam Bedrosian (3-3) was tagged with the loss, as he gave up three hits and three runs in one inning of work, striking out two and walking two.
Ricky Nolasco’s start was rocky, giving up four runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.
The Angels next will host the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series starting on Monday. Andrew Heaney (0-0) is scheduled to start for the home team.