They can return the favor Sunday in Houston as they try for their longest unbeaten road trip in nearly 11 years.
One of the favorites to challenge for the AL West heading into 2013, Los Angeles fell 11 games out of first place June 3 as the Astros finished a four-game sweep in Anaheim with their season-best sixth consecutive win.
While the Angels (38-43) are still well off Texas' and Oakland's pace in the division race, they've hit the halfway point of the season on a five-game winning streak following Saturday's 7-2 victory. They've gone 11-5 since a 2-9 skid that started with a 6-3 loss to Houston (30-51) on May 31.
The Angels have won six in a row on the road - their longest run since a 10-0 stretch last season - and are now eyeing their first 6-0 trip since Sept. 2-8, 2002.
Scheduled starter C.J. Wilson (7-5, 3.88 ERA) hasn't been at his best outside Anaheim, going 3-3 with a 5.36 ERA in eight outings. He allowed five runs in five innings of Tuesday's 14-8 victory at Detroit, telling the Angels' official website it was one of his "worst outings of the season," but it was also his season-best third straight winning start.
Wilson hasn't had a longer such streak since going 4-0 from Aug. 15-30, 2010, while with Texas.
He'll get his fourth look at the Astros this season. In the only one at Houston, he had a season-high 12 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings but surrendered all the runs - just two earned - in a 7-6 loss May 7. The left-hander split the other two starts but pitched well in both, yielding four runs in 13 1-3 innings.
Wilson will face an Astros team batting .182 while dropping three of four to open a nine-game homestand.
However, Brett Wallace has a hit in all four games since getting called back up while driving in five runs, including a two-run homer Saturday.
"He just looks like he has much more confidence," manager Bo Porter said. "... he's attacking the ball."
Lucas Harrell (5-8, 4.84) will try to attack an Angels lineup batting .296 with 35 runs during their winning streak.
Los Angeles, though, has scored just three runs in two matchups with the right-hander this season, and two came off solo homers by Josh Hamilton .
Harrell didn't give up any long balls in his last outing, but he was tagged for seven runs in 3 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 13-5 loss to St. Louis. He had a 1.73 ERA in his first four starts this month.
"I left the ball up, and when you leave the ball up against a team that hits they're going to hit," Harrell said.
Hamilton is starting to do that, going 8 for 19 on the trip to lift his batting average to .221. He also made two superb catches at the wall Saturday, possibly robbing home runs each time.
"If you don't do it at the plate you want to do it in the field, and during that stretch I wasn't doing it either way," he said. "I felt like I wasn't. But I feel better."
Erick Aybar has hit .417 with eight RBIs in the past six games.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|June 29, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist|
|June 23, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb injury|
|June 21, 2013||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|June 21, 2013||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Right wrist soreness|
|June 18, 2013||Jason Vargas||15-Day DL||Blood clot, left arm|
|June 10, 2013||Robert Coello||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 25, 2013||Justin Maxwell||Day-to-Day||Mild concussion|
|June 21, 2013||Trevor Crowe||15-Day DL||Sprained AC joint in right shoulder|
|May 26, 2013||Edgar Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|May 21, 2013||Bud Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back spasms|
|May 13, 2013||Bud Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - Back spasms|
|April 24, 2013||Justin Maxwell||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
HOUSTON (AP) -- Josh Hamilton is starting to break out of his season-long slump, and it has helped the Los Angeles Angels string together some wins.
Hamilton doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and scored on shortstop Jake Elmore 's overthrow, helping the Angels beat the Houston Astros 3-1 Sunday and extend their winning streak to six.
C.J. Wilson won his fourth straight start and Mark Trumbo hit his 18th homer for the Angels, who swept three-game series at Detroit and Houston for their first undefeated trip of at least six games since 2002.
"There's no doubt that I think there's a comfort level that you can see starting to form," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "We talked a while about it, but Josh is important to us and it's good to see him swinging the bat better this trip."
Hamilton, who left Texas to sign a $125 million, five-year contract during the offseason, is hitting just .223. But he's been better lately, with 11 RBIs in his last 16 games after driving in just 10 in his previous 50 games. He is batting .273 with nine hits and five RBIs in his last 10 games.
Hamilton had 43 homers and 128 RBIs last season. Eighty-two games into this season he has just 10 homers and 29 RBIs.
"Getting there," he said. "I feel a lot better, but even if I had been hitting for a month, I still wouldn't say I was there."
He is starting to have a bit more fun though, something that was clear by the huge grin he had when he trotted home after the error on his double.
"It's fun when you remember the game that you played your whole life and Little League," he said. "Nothing's changed inside the lines, it's still the same game ... so don't get caught up in struggles or anything like that, and just enjoy having the opportunity to be here and play."
Scioscia is encouraged by the recent surge of the Angels, who are in third place and nine games back in the AL-West.
"I think there's a feeling of confidence in the clubhouse and on the field, which is more important," he said. "Although I don't think we're firing totally on all cylinders, we're doing enough good things to get it done."
Wilson (8-5) allowed an unearned run, three hits and three walks, and he struck out 10 for his third double-digit strikeout game this season. Ernesto Frieri pitched a one-hit ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.
Houston starter Lucas Harrell yielded a run and six hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. He took a comebacker to the lower left leg on a single by Howie Kendrick starting the sixth and fell to the ground for a second before quickly popping back up. Harrell as checked by Houston's trainers before throwing a couple of warmup pitches and remaining in the game.
"His stuff was probably as good as it had been all year," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "He battled, and even after taking the shot off the leg, he continued to pitch, which was good to see."
Trumbo's fourth-inning homer put the Angels ahead, but Houston tied the score in the sixth. Brandon Barnes singled leading off, stole second and took third on Jake Elmore 's bunt single. Jose Altuve hit a line drive to third baseman Alberto Callaspo , who tried to double up Elmore at first but bounced his throw for an error as Barnes scored.
Howie Kendrick singled off Jose Cisnero (2-1) leading off the eighth and Albert Pujols struck out. Hamilton then doubled off the wall in left-center. Barnes, the center fielder, threw to Elmore at shortstop, and Elmore badly overthrow the plate for his third error in two games.
Houston put runners at first and second with two outs in the eighth, but Kevin Jepsen struck out Carlos Corporan , who fanned four times Sunday and has 15 strikeouts in his last 20 at-bats.
NOTES: Angels OF Peter Bourjos has a broken right wrist, an injury sustained when he was hit by a pitch from Houston's Jordan Lyles on Saturday. Bourjos is likely to be placed on the 15-day DL Tuesday, when the Angels start a series against St. Louis. ... Houston 1B-DH Carlos Pena will be away from the team until Tuesday due to a death in his family. Astros manager Bo Porter said Pena's nephew drowned in the Dominican Republic and Pena was traveling there to be with his family. He was not placed on the bereavement list, and the team expects him back for Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay. ... Houston placed OF Justin Maxwell on the seven-day DL because of concussion-related symptoms. He sustained a concussion on Tuesday night and passed the concussion tests the next day. He then experienced a slight headache after pinch running in Friday night's game. Houston recalled OF Jimmy Paredes from Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Los Angeles OF Mike Trout got a day off for the first time this season. ... Houston's Dallas Keuchel opposes Tampa Bay's Matt Moore when the Astros open a four-game series on Monday.