American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 17th
(All times Eastern)
Houston Astros (40-81) at LA Angels of Anaheim (54-67), 9:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Dallas Keuchel (5-7, 4.97)
LA Angels - Garrett Richards (3-5, 4.04)
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim attempt to snap their
five-game home losing streak as they host the Houston Astros Saturday in the
middle part of a three-game set.
Chris Carter hit a three-run home run and drove in five as the Astros took an
8-2 win over the Angels to open the series on Friday. Matt Dominguez went 3-
for-5 with a solo home run while L.J. Hoes also had three hits and scored a
run for the Astros, who have won three of their last four.
Houston is 18-36 versus AL West rivals, but is 8-6 in 14 games against the
"I don't know why we've been playing good against them," Carter said. "We're
playing loose lately and just having a lot more fun."
Carter has set career-highs in his first year with Houston after spending the
first three seasons of his career with Oakland. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound
outfielder has 23 home runs and 61 RBI, but his .213 batting average points
out that he is limited as a contact hitter.
"Chris Carter works extremely hard," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You may
not always get the results you want, but the work ethic, you see it there.
Again, it's nights like tonight that remind me why we keep putting him in here
because it's power that can change any game."
Houston will have one of its most reliable pitchers on the mound on Saturday.
After a brief stint as a reliever out of necessity, Dallas Keuchel returned to
the rotation on Sunday. He gave up six runs on eight hits over 8 1/2 innings
versus Texas, but is still 5-5 with a 4.56 ERA as a starter. He is tied for
second on the team in wins.
The Angels will counter with Garrett Richards, who has been stellar in place
of Joe Blanton. The 25-year old righty took a losing decision after holding
the Yankees to two runs on seven hits over eight innings on Monday.
"He was our best pitcher in spring training," said Angels manager Mike
Scioscia. "He threw the ball better than anybody we had, and I think in the
bullpen, it helped him to get his power stuff in order. And now back in the
rotation, he's getting length and depth. You're seeing his ability to command
counts improve, and he's having a lot of success."
Richards has a 2.42 ERA in his last four starts, but he will have to deal with
Carter, who is 4-for-6 with a home run and two RBI against him.
Mike Trout went 1-for-3 for the hosts on Friday to extend his hitting streak
to six games. He is third in the majors with a .330 batting average, but his
supporting cast hasn't been too productive. Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 in the
series opener while J.B. Shuck, Kole Calhoun and Peter Bourjos were all held
Houston swept the Angels in a four-game series from May 31-June 3.
08/17 10:42:58 ET