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OC Register: Angels miserable week continues with another pitching meltdown in a loss to Astros


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HOUSTON — Just when it looked like the Angels may have put their pitching woes behind them for a night, they endured one of their ugliest innings of the season.

After they had scored five runs to take a four-run lead in the top of the eighth, the Angels gave up nine in the bottom of the inning, dropping a 10-5 game to the Houston Astros.

The Angels have allowed 10 or more runs in four straight games for the first time in franchise history, including equaling a franchise worst by allowing 21 on Thursday.

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Rookie relievers Justin Anderson and Ty Buttrey, who had been outstanding in his first month in the big leagues, were charged with the runs.

Buttrey still could have escaped with the lead, but rookie third baseman Taylor Ward chucked a throw into right field on a possible inning-ending double play. It allowed the tying and winning runs to score.

The meltdown spoiled a night in which Mike Trout had blasted his 38th homer, and fifth in the last six games, to snap a tie in the eighth inning. Trout hit a three-run homer and then Andrelton Simmons added an RBI double, putting the Angels up 5-1.

Anderson then took the mound in the bottom of the eighth, and walked two of the first three hitters, continuing an issue he’s battled throughout the year.

Manager Mike Scioscia then summoned Buttrey, who had worked his way into a part-time closer role in a month in the big leagues. Buttrey, in fact, began to show his potential when he last pitched in Houston, and he escaped a bases-loaded jam against the heart of the lineup.

This time, he didn’t even get an out.

Yuli Gurriel singled into left, driving in a run to cut the lead to 5-2. Buttrey walked Josh Reddick to load the bases. Brian McCann singled to left, driving in another. Evan Gattis then dumped a single into right, making it 5-4.

Tyler White then hit a grounder to Ward, who made an errant throw as Minute Maid Park erupted and the go-ahead run scored.

Blake Parker relieved Buttrey and gave up another hit and then a two-run homer to Altuve, as the Astros reached double digits.

The nightmare inning ruined one of the best moments of the season for Trout.

After the Angels had been shut out for six innings by Justin Verlander, they tied the game in the eighth on a pinch-hit double by Francisco Arcia. Three batters later, Trout jumped on a first pitch from Joe Smith, crushing a 414-foot homer to put the Angels up 4-1.

It was only the second time this season Trout drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning or later. He is often walked in those situations.

More to come on this story.

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