Angels’ rally comes up short in 2-1 loss to Astros – Orange County Register
The Astros’ Alex Bregman, left, slides into second base for a double as Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons is late with the tag in the second inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
The Astros’ Carlos Beltran is congratulated by third base coach Gary Pettis after hitting a solo home run against the Angels in the first inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Angels starter Matt Shoemaker pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Angels second baseman Danny Espinosa throws out the Astros’ Brian McCann on a ground ball in the second inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. pitches against the Angels in the first inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
The Angels’ Albert Pujols questions a strike call by home plate umpire Tripp Gibson in the seventh inning of Thursday’s game against the Astros. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
The Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, right, is tagged out by Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. after being caught in a rundown in the fifth inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Mike Trout is congratulated by Albert Pujols after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning for the Angels’ only run against the Astros on Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
The Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a foul ball against the Astros in the seventh inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Angels center fielder Mike Trout catches a fly ball by the Astros’ Brian McCann in the fourth inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar throws out the Astros’ Alex Bregman in the fourth inning Thursday. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman throws out the Angels’ Albert Pujols in the fourth inning. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
HOUSTON — The Angels just endured seven days they would rather forget. As they packed their bags following the conclusion of a seven-game trip, they did so with just one more victory than when the trip began.
“It’s going to be nice to go home for sure,” Kole Calhoun said after Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Astros. “This was a long trip. It didn’t go well. But we know we have a talented team in this clubhouse.”
Although the Angels could at least take some solace in the fact that they gave themselves a shot with a promising ninth-inning rally, in the end they lost because they were once again lacking the big hit.
On their way to eight losses in the last nine games, the Angels have hit .185 and averaged 1.8 runs per game.
“We’re struggling as a team,” Calhoun said. “A couple things go our way, the ball starts rolling our way, and you never know what could happen.”
The Angels were stymied by Lance McCullers for most of the afternoon, held hitless until the fifth and without a runner in scoring position until the seventh.
The few times they did look like they might get something started, the rallies stalled. They hit into two double plays and had a…