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OC Register: Angels waste Kole Calhoun’s 4-hit night in loss to Astros


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  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-3-1-1.jpg

    The Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, celebrates with third base coach Mike Gallego after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Astros in Houston. Calhoun finished 4 for 4 with a double and the home run and two runs scored in a 5-4 loss. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-8.jpg

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Suarez throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-2-1-1.jpg

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-4-2.jpg

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits an RBI single against the Houston Astros during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-3-2.jpg

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • GettyImages-1169844742-1.jpg

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 23: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels hits into a double play against the Houston Astros in the third inning at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-5-1.jpg

    Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman throws to first after fielding a single by Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-1-1-1.jpg

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jose Suarez throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • GettyImages-1169845395-1.jpg

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 23: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros singles in a run in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-6-1.jpg

    Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, right, a RBI single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Anthony Bemboom reaches for the pitch during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • GettyImages-1169839361-1.jpg

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels exchanges words with first base umpire during a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-7-1.jpg

    Houston Astros’ Abraham Toro hits a single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Anthony Bemboom reaches for the pitch during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. Toro’s single was his first major league hit. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • GettyImages-1169846751-1.jpg

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 23: Jake Marisnick #6 of the Houston Astros singles in a run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

  • GettyImages-1169846782-1.jpg

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 23: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels field a single by Jake Marisnick #6 of the Houston Astros in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-2-2.jpg

    Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-1-2.jpg

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, left, handles the throw from catcher Anthony Bemboom before tagging out Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick (6) as he tries to steal second base during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • GettyImages-1169852265-1.jpg

    The Angels’ David Fletcher tags out the Astros’ Abraham Toro during the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

  • APTOPiX-Angels-Astros-Baseball-3.jpg

    Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons makes a leaping throw to first base for an out after fielding a ground ball hit by the Astros’ George Springer during the seventh inning of Friday’s game in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Angels-Astros-Baseball-4-1-1.jpg

    The Angels’ Kole Calhoun watches his home run against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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HOUSTON — Brad Ausmus says he tries to be “proactive” with his pitching changes, taking a pitcher out before it’s too late.

As much as the numbers might support such decisions, Ausmus was nonetheless burned by one in the Angels’ 5-4 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Ausmus pulled José Suarez in the fifth inning of a tie game after a two-out double, only to see reliever Noé Ramírez immediately allow a Yuli Gurriel two-run homer that put the Astros on top for good.

It cost the Angels on a night when they wasted Kole Calhoun’s four-hit performance, thanks in part to a 1-for-12 performance with runners in scoring position.

The Angels, who had taken a 2-0 lead against Zack Greinke in the second, were playing from behind after the pivotal sequence in the fifth.

Suarez, who last week was sent down to correct the issues that led to his 6.75 ERA, was back on the mound because of Griffin Canning’s injury.

He started off strong, retiring six of seven hitters in the first two innings. Then the Astros began to chip away at him, with a walk and three singles, leading to a run in the third. In the fourth, they scored another run on three more hits.

In the fifth, Suarez gave up a two-out double to Alex Bregman. In a 2-2 game, and going through the order for the third time, Ausmus then pulled Suarez.

Suarez came into the game allowing a .419 average against the 33 hitters who had seen him the third time in a game. Suarez was also at 92 pitches, which was the most he’d thrown in the big leagues. Ausmus had Ramírez, who had retired all six batters he faced in his previous outing to lower his ERA to 3.25.

On the other side of the ledger, Suarez had not given up much hard contact. Only one of the hits had an exit velocity of more than 95 mph. Also, the Angels are out of the race, so this could have been viewed as a developmental moment, to allow Suarez a chance to learn how to get deeper into a game.

Ausmus opted to go to Ramírez, and a few moments later it backfired. Ramírez gave up a two-run homer to Gurriel, who lofted a fly ball just over the fence in right, making it 4-2.

While the homer was a key moment in the game, the Angels also had a few costly failures to produce with runners in scoring position.

Calhoun and Matt Thaiss led off the fourth and fifth, respectively, with doubles, but the Angels couldn’t drive in either of them. In the sixth they had two on and no outs, but scored just one run, to pull within 4-3. Andrelton Simmons grounded into a double play to end that inning.

In the seventh, Mike Trout came up with runners at the corners and one out, and he popped out. Shohei Ohtani then struck out.

After the Astros added an insurance run, Calhoun blasted his 28th homer to pull the Angels back within 5-4.

More to come on this story.

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