HOUSTON — The Angels still have a long way to go to catch up to the Houston Astros.
Tyler Anderson was torched for seven runs in the Angels’ 11-3 loss to the Astros on Saturday, their ninth loss in 12 games against Houston so far this season.
The Angels have scored 4.6 runs per game against Astros, which is around their overall average. The problem has been their 6.84 ERA against the defending World Series champions.
“They’re good,” Manager Phil Nevin said. “They’ve certainly had our number. Absolutely. It’s no fun coming into one place and getting beat, but we’ve got a big one tomorrow. The last time we were here (in June) we got it handed to us the first few days and came out and played a good ballgame and won 2-1 on Sunday.”
The Angels did salvage the final game of that four-game series, and they’ll look to right-hander Chase Silseth to get them out of Houston with a win this time. Silseth has pitched well lately, but Anderson had pitched well coming into this game.
And he pitched well this time at the start. For the first three innings, he faced the minimum nine hitters.
“The first three innings was as good of stuff as he’s had all year,” Nevin said. “The changeup was a difference maker in those three innings. Just the location with it in the fourth and fifth, he just lost command of it.”
In the fourth, Anderson walked José Altuve. Alex Bregman lined a double into left center. Yordan Alvarez singled up the middle, driving in a run. Anderson then threw a changeup over the inside corner to left-handed hitting Kyle Tucker, who pulled it over the right field fence for a three-run homer.
Anderson retired the next five hitters, but the top four in the order got him again in the fifth, all after there were two outs and nobody on base.
Altuve doubled. Bregman and Alvarez walked. Tucker singled.
“It’s a good part of the lineup, obviously, and they’ve been swinging the bat well,” Anderson said. “They hit some good pitches and then I made a couple mistakes and didn’t get away with either one of them in that situation.”
Two final runs were tacked on to Anderson’s line when Yainer Diaz singled against Dominic Leone, putting the Angels in a 7-1 hole.
Anderson, who is in the first year of a three-year, $39-million deal, has a 5.28 ERA through 21 games.
The Astros completed the blowout with four runs in the eighth against Jaime Barria. The Angels are now likely to make a roster move before Sunday’s game because neither Barria nor Kenny Rosenberg — who worked five innings in Friday’s blowout — will be available for long relief.
The Angels also will need to re-evaluate first baseman C.J. Cron, who came out of Saturday’s game with back tightness. Nevin said Cron had been dealing with the issue, and he didn’t like the way he looked when he was moving in the box during his sixth-inning at-bat, so he took him out. Cron is likely to get Sunday off, at least.
If the Angels are going to get out of town with a victory, it would help to not fall behind by so much. Anderson gave up four runs in the fourth on Saturday, after Reid Detmers gave up five in the second on Friday.
“Playing from behind like this, it’s different at-bats,” Nevin said. “The pitcher on the other side has a different mindset. It’s tough to go up there and take at-bats. All in all, it just wasn’t a good game for us at all.”