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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, May 8th (All times Eastern)

LA Angels of Anaheim (11-21) at Houston Astros (9-24), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Joe Blanton (0-5, 5.97) Houston - Bud Norris (3-3, 3.89)

(Sports Network) - The Houston Astros eye just their third series win Wednesday in the middle test of a three-game series versus the LA Angels of Anaheim at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros took the opener by a 7-6 score, their most runs in a game since a 9-1 win at Yankee Stadium on April 29. It wasn't easy at first for Houston to snap a six-game slide and win for only the second time in 12 tries, as the Angels grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Houston got one back in the bottom half on Jose Altuve's solo homer, then took the lead for good with a five-run third inning. Chris Carter's three-run homer in the frame highlighted the offense and Altuve finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI.

Jose Veras tossed a perfect ninth to save it for Jordan Lyles, who earned the win after striking out six in five innings of work. He was charged with three runs before giving way to the bullpen.

"I think I threw the ball a little bit better tonight than I did last outing," Lyles said. "Just from the fact being down 3-0 and then putting up some zeros against a pretty good offense."

The Astros were outscored, 26-2, in the previous two games versus Detroit and won their two series over Seattle from April 8-10 and again April 22-24. Houston will finish its 10-game homestand (1-4) with three games versus Texas this weekend.

Bud Norris draws the start for Houston Wednesday and he is 3-3 with a 3.89 earned run average in seven starts. He is only 1-2 in his previous four outings and did not record a decision in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Tigers despite permitting just two runs in seven innings. He struck out a season-high seven batters. Closer Jose Veras couldn't preserve the save.

"Bud Norris did what a No. 1 starter does," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "When his team is light in the bullpen after a 14-inning game, he goes seven innings and held one of the best offensive teams in our league to two runs."

Tigers Hall of Fame skipper Jim Leyland concurred.

"Norris pitched really good," Leyland said. "I was impressed. We don't see these guys much. They throw good pitchers at you."

The Angels wasted a decent outing from C.J. Wilson and the left-hander allowed seven runs, two of which were earned, in 6 1/3 innings with 12 K's and two walks. It was Wilson's first loss of the season (3-1) and the five-run third inning put the left-hander behind the eight ball.

"For the most part, C.J. did a great job," said Angels catcher Hank Conger, who didn't help his battery mat with three errors on the night. "Today, I just wasn't able to back him up. Today really fell on me."

Anaheim did club three homers in its third straight loss and eighth in 10 tries, as Mark Trumbo belted a three-run shot in the first inning, Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run shot and Howie Kendrick went deep.

The Angels will try to keep the bats going and the errors to a minimum when winless right-hander Joe Blanton toes the rubber Wednesday. At 0-5 with a 5.97 earned run average in six starts, Blanton has dropped back-to-back trips to the hill and pitched well in a 5-1 loss to Baltimore last Thursday. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- in eight innings to remain winless in his first stint with the Halos.

"Joe pitched a strong ballgame, there's no doubt about it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "On a normal night, if we're swinging the bats the way we can, we are going to win that game."

Blanton said a mechanical adjustment with his delivery has allowed him to hide the ball better and not tip his pitches to opposing batters. He'll try to keep the Astros at bay this evening and is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five career games (4 starts) against them.

The Angels took two of three from Houston from April 12-14 in Anaheim. The Astros last won a series against the Angels back in 2004, winning two of the three meetings from June 18-20.

05/08 10:34:01 ET

TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 am on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL