Astros drop third straight in 5-1 loss to Angels

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: April 5, 2014
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HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel's two-out luck finally ran out in the fifth inning of Saturday night's loss to the Angels.

After narrowly escaping jam after jam in the early innings, Keuchel gave up a two-run homer to Josh Hamilton in the fifth.

Hamilton's home run supported eight strong innings by Tyler Skaggs as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Houston Astros 5-1 on Saturday night.

The Angels stranded six runners in the first three innings, but with two outs and Hamilton made sure Keuchel didn't make it to the sixth inning. His homer soared over the head of Houston right fielder L.J. Hoes, and Keuchel shook his head in disappointment.

"If you're not on your A-game every pitch, that's what happens," Keuchel said. "I think that kind of took the wind out of our sails in the fifth."

Keuchel (0-1) allowed four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts over five innings. Keuchel said he had success with that pitch against Hamilton last season, but admitted that Hamilton is "a different player so far," in 2014.

In 10 previous plate appearances against Keuchel, Hamilton hit .200 with five strikeouts, no homers and no walks. Hamilton had three hits and is now hitting .353 against the Astros with 16 home runs and 41 RBI.

Even without Hamilton's blast, however, the Astros' bats didn't lend the support for a win. For the second straight game, Houston failed to score more than one run, and the Astros have scored seven runs in four games since scoring six on opening day against the Yankees.

Astros manager Bo Porter said the continued struggles were equal parts due to a lack of consistency at the plate on Houston's behalf and a strong showing from Skaggs.

"He really had his breaking ball going, but at the same time, I think we helped him a little bit by expanding our strike zone," Porter said. "He took advantage of it. Offensively, we definitely need to get things going and score some runs."

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