He hasn't been nearly as fortunate in matchups with the Houston Astros this season.
Williams will try to earn his third straight victory and lead the Angels to their fifth in six games in Sunday's series finale in Houston.
Williams (7-10, 4.81 ERA) gave up six runs - one shy of matching a season high - over five innings Tuesday in Toronto but benefited from Los Angeles' 12-6 rout.
"He just didn't look like he was able to get his sinker where he wanted to and struggled through five innings," manager Mike Scioscia said.
Williams is 0-2 in his three starts against the Astros this season despite a respectable 3.06 ERA in those games. He's received only one run of support.
Williams, though, also wasn't efficient in his most recent matchup Aug. 16, needing 99 pitches to get through 4 1-3 innings. He suffered the loss in that 8-2 defeat.
The Angels (71-77), however, head into this game having batted .309 during a 7-3 stretch. They're also hitting .328 with runners in scoring position while winning 16 of 22.
Howie Kendrick hit an RBI double in his second game back from the disabled list Saturday and helped spark a three-run fourth inning in a 6-2 victory over Houston (51-97).
Kendrick, batting .301 this season, is 3 for 9 since returning from a sprained left knee. Chris Iannetta hit his fifth homer in 11 games and second in this series, which followed a 9-7 loss Friday.
"I didn't really have many expectations coming back to playing every day," Kendrick told the team's website.
The Astros are 10-8 against the Angels this season and have clinched the season series. They're above .500 versus only one other AL opponent, going 4-3 against the Chicago White Sox.
Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.91) will try to lead Houston to another win over its AL West rivals after being scratched before his latest start. The right-hander, who has no record and a 3.72 ERA in his first two major league starts, developed a blister on his right middle finger.
"It's tough," Clemens told the team's website. "I pride myself on staying away from that DL and missing time. ... But instead of missing three or four starts, go ahead and miss one and hopefully finish the season."
Kendrick, batting .345 in his last seven games against Houston, is 1 for 3 against Clemens. Erick Aybar hit a solo homer in his lone at-bat versus the right-hander.
After being activated from the disabled list Friday, J.D. Martinez could return to the lineup. Martinez, out since July 26 because of a sprained left wrist, is 3 for 6 lifetime against Williams.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|September 08, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Right wrist|
|September 08, 2013||Luis Jimenez||Day-to-Day||Left game - right thumb contusion|
|August 29, 2013||Chris Nelson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|August 28, 2013||Chris Nelson||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|August 22, 2013||Kevin Jepsen||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|August 19, 2013||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Tight right hamstring|
|September 08, 2013||Paul Clemens||Day-to-Day||Blister, right hand|
|September 02, 2013||Jason Castro||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right knee sprain|
|August 22, 2013||Max Stassi||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 21, 2013||Max Stassi||Day-to-Day||Left game - head|
|August 20, 2013||Carlos Corporan||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 20, 2013||Carlos Corporan||15-Day DL||Concussion|
HOUSTON (AP) -- Jerome Williams wants to be a starter for the Los Angeles Angels next season.
Williams kept on making his case Sunday, winning a third straight start for the first time since April 2004 as the Angels beat Houston 2-1 to send the Astros to their 98th loss of the season.
Houston, a big league-worst 51-98, is on the verge of becoming the first major league team to reach triple figures in losses in three consecutive seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06. The Astros were 56-106 in 2011 and dropped to 55-107 last year, their final year in the National League.
Williams (8-10) entered following wins over Tampa Bay and Toronto, and he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings.
"This team is a real good team," said Williams, who began the season in the bullpen. "I would love to come back and be part of this team and hopefully make that run for next year."
A veteran of 10 seasons, Williams knows he has to produce.
"I just have to keep on working," Williams said. "I think I have two more starts, and I just have to keep building on it.
I can't control what happens after; all I can control is what I'm doing on the mound right now. That's what I'm trying to do, and let everything else fall into place."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Williams has pitched solidly since moving into the rotation in May.
"He's given us chances to win," Scioscia said.
Williams benefited from solid defense and a two-inning relief appearance by Ernesto Frieri , who earned his 34th save in 38 chances.
"It was a good defensive game for us," Scioscia said.
Josh Hamilton had an RBI triple in the first off Paul Clemens (4-5), a drive off the glove of center fielder Brandon Barnes as he went up Tal's Hill. Mike Trout had reached with his AL-leading 100th walk.
"There aren't many ballparks that would hold that ball," Scioscia said. "I think that in any other ballpark we're playing that's a two-run home run."
Andrew Romine hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth after singles by Erick Aybar and Hank Conger .
Frieri entered with two on in the eighth and got six outs, including four via strikeout.
After Jose Altuve 's eighth-inning sacrifice, Frieri struck out Trevor Crowe and Brett Wallace . Matt Dominguez singled on a 12-pitch at-bat leading off the ninth, and Frieri retired three in a row.
"It's certainly not our preference to have him go six outs, especially when he's got to throw 25-30 pitches, but he felt good today and over the course of the last 10 days he hasn't been out there that much," Scioscia said. "He felt fresh."
Frieri said he appreciated the trust.
"This time of the season, I'm 100 percent ready to go," Frieri said. "Whenever they call for you down in the bullpen, you have to be ready, mentally and physically."
Los Angeles has won five of six overall and 14 of its last 17 road games.
Marc Krauss homered in the second for the Astros, his fourth of the season. Clemens, making his third career start, allowed six hits in seven innings.
"It was impressive," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "I felt like he did a tremendous job of using all of his pitches."
Houston left seven on base and was 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
"First and third one out. We had a run-scoring opportunity and we don't get it done there," Porter said. "You have second and third, one out and unable to get it done there again. We had our opportunities, and we just weren't able to capitalize."
NOTES: RHP Dane De La Rosa made his 70th appearance, setting an Angels record for rookie appearances. He let two on in the eighth before exiting. ... Trout is the first AL player in history with 70 extra-base hits, 30 stolen bases and 100 walks in a season. ... Astros rookie Max Stassi (concussion) said he remains hopeful to catch before the end of the season. Stassi, who has been sidelined since Aug. 21 after he took a pitch to the face in a 5-4 loss at Texas, caught another bullpen session Sunday.