MLB Baseball

2
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 261
LA Angels0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 x 340
3
  W: A. Warren (2-0)   L: L. McCullers Jr. (12-5)   S: R. Iglesias (33)
6:38 PM PT7:38 PM MT8:38 PM CT9:38 PM ET21:38 ET1:38 GMT9:38 6:38 PM MST8:38 PM EST9:08 PM VEN5:38 UAE (+1)7:38 PM CT, September 23, 2021
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California  Attendance: 19,829

Astros go for 4-game sweep against Angels

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels

  1. The Astros are 10-5 against the Angels this season, winning or tying each of their five series. With a series win or tie this week, the Astros would go undefeated in all six series against the Angels for the second time in the last three seasons (5-0-1 series record in 2019).
  2. Houston took two of three from the Diamondbacks, winning the rubber match last night after trailing by two runs through seven innings. It was Houston's fifth win this season when trailing by multiple runs through seven innings, tied for second most in the American League (Rays, 9).
  3. The Angels were swept by the A's this weekend, dropping their divisional record to 24-39 this season, the fifth-worst record within the division in baseball. They have gone 48-38 against all other teams, tied for the 10th-best record against non-divisional teams in MLB.
  4. Shohei Ohtani pitched 8.0 innings last night with 10 strikeouts and two runs allowed, his second start of 8.0+ innings in the last month. No other Angels pitcher has had more than one start of eight or more innings since the start of 2019.
  5. Jose Siri and Chase McCormick hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning last night to give the Astros the lead. They are the second pair of Astros rookies all-time to hit back-to-back home runs in an inning, joining Daryle Ward and Lance Berkman on August 29, 1999 versus Florida.
  6. Framber Valdez will make his first start in 10 days after he was scratched due to a cut on his hand. In his career, Valdez has a 4.86 ERA with six or more days of rest compared to 4.20 with five days of rest and 3.23 with four days of rest.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/20/2021 thru 9/23/2021

The Houston Astros have separated themselves from the pack in the past month.

They'll try to widen the gap even further when they go for a four-game sweep against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif.

The Astros (91-61) had a 2 1/2-game lead on the Oakland Athletics in the AL West just over a month ago, and now enter Thursday with an eight-game edge over the Seattle Mariners.

Houston's magic number to clinch the division is three.

The Astros flashed their trademark resilience again on Wednesday night, blowing a three-run lead in the seventh, tying the score in the eighth and then twice having their backs against the wall in extra innings before winning 9-5 in the 12th.

The Astros plan to keep outfielder Yordan Alvarez out of the lineup in the series finale.

Alvarez had three hits, including his 32nd home run of the season, and drove in three runs on Wednesday night, but was removed shortly after he jogged out to left field in the eighth inning.

Houston manager Dusty Baker said Alvarez was experiencing soreness, but didn't elaborate.

"I was trying to preserve him," Baker said. "He was sore. We just could not take a chance. We had to protect him. We just can't lose him."

The Angels, meanwhile, have lost eight in a row in Anaheim, their longest home losing streak during the same season since 1994.

The Angels plan to send veteran right-hander Alex Cobb to the mound to try and halt the skid and salvage a win in the series.

Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA) threw five shutout innings in his return from the injured list on Sept. 16 at the Chicago White Sox. He allowed two hits, struck out five and walked two after missing the previous five weeks with right wrist inflammation.

"That really did exceed expectations," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "It's wonderful to see and to build on, for us and for him."

Cobb faced the Astros on April 22 in Houston and struggled. He allowed five runs (four earned) and six hits in 2 2/3 innings of the 8-2 loss.

Cobb has made four career starts against the Astros overall and is 1-3 with an 8.50 ERA.

Cobb will be a free agent after this season and is auditioning for a possible starting spot somewhere in the league.

"We get paid to go out there and compete, and it's what we love to do," Cobb said. "We love to go out there and be in that mode where we're fighting with the guys and trying to win ballgames."

The Astros are scheduled to start veteran right-hander Lance McCullers Jr.

McCullers (12-4, 3.11) has already posted a career-high in wins and is 2-0 in three starts this month with a 2.50 ERA.

He most recently allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings of a 6-4 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 10 innings on Saturday.

He beat the Angels on Sept. 12, allowing one run and three hits in six innings of 3-1 win.

He's 5-4 in 17 career starts against the Angels with a 2.92 ERA.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 23, 2021

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