Trout crisis worsens, Astros strike 20 to sweep Angels

HOUSTON (AP) — Mike Trout saw a low sinker graze the outside corner of the strike zone in the third inning Sunday, stunned yet again during a strikeout-filled weekend.

Before returning painfully to the canoe, he made a face which seemed to shout: Yikes!

The Angels star went 0 for 11 with nine strikeouts in a three-game series and Los Angeles batters whipped 20 total times on Sunday as the Houston Astros won 4-2 for a sweep.

“Mike Trout is a future Hall of Famer. He’s going to come back,” Angels interim manager Bill Haselman said. “It’s too long a season to never have any difficulties. And everyone goes through it, even the best in the game. And he’s going through it right now and we’re confident he’ll pull through.

Rookie Jeremy Peña homered twice, capped off with a two-out two-out drive in the ninth inning against Ryan Tepera (1-2) to win it.

Trout has struck seven in a row in the first two games. In the final, the three-time AL MVP reached base in his first at bat on an error by Pena at shortstop before retiring in his next two plate appearances.

Trout came out on his last at bat to extend his skid to 0 for 14.

“This guy, when he’s there, he’s like a one-man wrecking crew,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “We threw him hard and I’m sure he’ll adapt when we go there very soon.”

Trout is having another strong season, hitting .272 with 23 home runs and 47 RBIs, despite his second long slump of the year — he was a career-worst 0 for 26 before ending that drought on June 6.

Trout was far from the only Angel to struggle at the plate as Houston starter Framber Valdez and three relievers tied the major league record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Twelve different Angels batters came to the plate and all of them hit at least once.

“Guys are working on it, but it’s really, really tough when you see so many of them going through it at the same time,” batting coach Jeremy Reed said. “Usually it’s a guy here, a guy there, and the next guy comes and picks him up. But there are just a lot of guys struggling at the same time.

Valdez hit a career-high 13 in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks. Relievers Hector Neris and Rafael Montero each scored two in a scoreless inning and Ryan Pressly (2-2) stoked three in the ninth.

There had been several occasions where teams had retired 20, including performances from Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. The Astros’ previous record was 18 in 1964 against Cincinnati.

Houston pitchers pitched 47 in the series against the Angels.

Peña had four hits. In the ninth, Jose Altuve scored a two-out single and Peña followed with his 11th homer.

Peña hit a solo home run in the fourth against José Suárez.

Luis Rengifo hit the second homer for the Angels. Shohei Ohtani hit an RBI single in the third.

Altuve had an RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-all.

Haselman, the team’s catcher coach, was the Angels’ interim manager on Sunday while Ray Montgomery, who served as interim manager, and interim manager Phil Nevin served their suspensions for last week’s fight. with the Mariners. Haselman will also handle Tuesday’s game while Montgomery will serve Game 2 of his suspension.

Sunday was the sixth game of Nevin’s 10-game suspension.


Astros: LHP Parker Mushinski (elbow discomfort) kicked off live batting practice on Sunday. Manager Dusty Baker said he felt good after throwing 24 pitches, but they haven’t determined what’s next for him yet.


The Angels selected the contract of 2B Michael Stefanic from Triple-A Salt Lake and named INF/OF Tyler Wade for assignment. Stefanic went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts in his major league debut before being replaced by Andrew Velazquez in the bottom of the sixth inning.


Astros: Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.13 ERA) will be off the injured list to start for Houston in Game 1 of a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Monday.

Angels: Los Angeles is out Monday before Noah Syndergaard (5-6, 3.86) takes on Sandy Alcántara (8-3, 1.96) in Game 1 of a three-game Miami series.


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