HOUSTON — At least the Angels’ ended their trip with a bang, if not a victory.
After enduring a quiet afternoon and managing just three hits in eight scoreless innings, the Angels mounted a ninth-inning rally on Thursday afternoon.
Unfortunately, it still came up short, as they left the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base in a 2-1 loss to the Houston Astros, their sixth loss in seven games on the trip.
They have lost eight of nine overall, hitting .185 and averaging 1.8 runs in the skid.
Although they didn’t do much for most of the afternoon, stymied by Astros starter Lance McCullers, they at least made it interesting in the ninth against Chris Devenski. Mike Trout led off with a homer to cut the lead to 2-1.
An out later, C.J. Cron singled and then Andrelton Simmons singled. Pinch-runner Cliff Pennington and Simmons executed a double-steal to move into scoring position while Cameron Maybin was up.
Maybin struck out, though. Danny Espinosa then struck out to end it.
On the bright side, Matt Shoemaker pitched his best game of the season, allowing just two runs in seven innings.
In fact, in the past five games each Angels starter has managed his best game of the season, as they’ve combined for a 2.23 ERA over the past five games.
Shoemaker gave up a homer to Carlos Beltran in the first and a towering blast to Jake Marisnick in the fifth. Otherwise, he was dominant. The only other hit he allowed was a ball that right fielder Kole Calhoun nearly caught after a long run into the gap.
Shoemaker’s few mistakes were still too many on a day when he got no offensive support.
Of the few baserunners the Angels had, they lost two of them…