The Los Angeles Angels got Mike Trout back in the lineup, but they still fell further back with a 9-3 loss to the Houston Astros Friday in Anaheim.
The all-star center fielder had two hits, including a triple, but the Halos fell to 63-66, their fifth loss in six games. They’re now 15.5 games back in the American League West of the first place Astros and – more importantly –14 games out in the AL wild card race.
Houston broke open a close, 1-0 game with four runs in the sixth. The big blow was a grand slam by Merwin Gonzalez. The visitors chased Angel starter Andrew Heaney (7-8) and added runs in each of the final three innings.
Heaney finished with eight hits in six innings. He yielded five earned runs and struck out five batters while walking just one.
There were a few bright spots: Trout’s successful return and Taylor Ward’s first career home run. Overall, the Angels were outhit 12-7, and gave up three home runs to their one four-bagger.
On Saturday the series with the Astros continues with Jaime Barria (8-7) going up against Houston’s Justin Verlander (12-8) in a 6 p.m. game at the Big A.