Trout, Shoemaker not enough as Angels lose 4-2 to Astros
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout is rolling at the plate and Matt Shoemaker is doing the same on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels.
They have precious little to show for it.
Despite the efforts of their best offensive player and starting pitcher, the Angels lost again Monday night, 4-2 to the surging Houston Astros.
Trout had a home run, two doubles and scored both Los Angeles runs. Shoemaker threw six scoreless innings.
Yet the Angels were beaten for the seventh time in eight games. They dropped 13 games under .500 and deeper into last place in the AL West. They trail first-place Texas by 18 games.
“These guys are trying,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “The frustration is waiting for us to play that complete game, win more situations on the field and put the game on our terms. The guys are working hard. I think they have great mental framework for a team that’s hit some bumps in the road.”
Trout’s home run was his 17th of the season. He’s connected in three consecutive games and had multiple hits in each of the past five.
“He’s probably the best player on the planet,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.
But the Angels have struggled to surround their premier outfielder with productive players.
“We have to be more than Mike, and we feel we are more than Mike,” Scioscia said.
Likewise, the Angels have been unable to take advantage of Shoemaker’s remarkable turnaround. The right-hander had an 8.49 ERA on May 16. In his eight starts since, he’s posted a 1.87 ERA but has gone just 1-3. His last start was also against the Astros.
This time, he held Houston without a run on five hits and a walk. He struck out six. In his past eight starts covering 57 2/3 innings, he’s struck out 67 and walked just five.
“Matty’s on an incredible run,” Scioscia said. “And to do it against a team back-to-back is difficult. He pitched a great game tonight.”
Two guys playing at an elite level is hardly translating to success for an Angels team with nine players on the disabled list, including an entire rotation.
“We’re battling,” Trout said. “We come in every day with a positive mentality. Obviously, the guys who are banged up are trying to get back with the team and the guys who are playing are playing hard.”
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday night with the beginnings of a blister on his right index finger. Hinch said McCullers could rejoin the rotation Friday or Monday (which would be his next regular turn).
Angels: Mixed results from a pair of ultrasounds on starting pitchers Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney. Both had stem-cell injections in the hope of avoiding elbow surgery. Angels GM Billy Eppler said Richards was asymptomatic and will be re-evaluated in six weeks. Heaney, however, did not show improvement and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. ... Eppler also said LHP C.J. Wilson will get a second opinion on his sore shoulder. ... LHP Tyler Skaggs, coming back from Tommy John surgery, started for Class A Inland Empire and threw for the first time in 10 weeks, allowing one run and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five.
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman (4-3) will make the spot start for McCullers. The 6-foot-7 Feldman has appeared in 20 games for Houston, with four previous starts. For the last eight seasons he has primarily been a starter.
Angels: RHP Tim Lincecum (1-1) will make his third start with Los Angeles. Lincecum, coming back from hip surgery, had one highly effective start against the A’s (one run, six innings) and one rough outing (four runs, three innings).