Houston Astros (36-51) at LA Angels of Anaheim (48-36), 9:05 p.m. (ET)
07/03/2014 10:54 AM
07/04/2014 10:28 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - A rough month of June for Los Angeles Angels starter C.J. Wilson began with a loss to the Houston Astros.
Wilson hopes to get July off to a better start on Friday night when he squares off against the Astros in the second contest of a four-game set in Anaheim.
Wilson did not factor into the decision of his last start on Sunday in Kansas City, a 5-4 setback for his club. The left-hander gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks over just 3 2/3 innings.
The outing wrapped a month of June for Wilson in which he pitched to a 5.97 earned run average in six outings, and the 33-year-old now sits 8-6 on the year with a 3.90 ERA.
Coincidentally, Wilson's rough month began with a 7-2 setback in Houston on June 3. He was blitzed for five runs on six hits and five walks over 2 2/3 innings in that one and holds lifetime numbers of 6-4 with a pair of saves and a 3.28 ERA in 20 previous meetings (10 starts) in this matchup.
After missing his last start due to left wrist inflammation, Dallas Keuchel returns to the mound for the Astros trying to avoid a third straight setback.
Keuchel last pitched on June 22, charged with five runs -- four earned -- over eight innings of a 5-2 setback to Tampa Bay. The lefty yielded nine hits and walked four in a row for a second outing in a row.
The 26-year-old is 8-5 with a 2.78 ERA on the year and was solid when he last faced the Angels in Anaheim on May 19. He picked up a victory by scattering two runs and striking out eight over 8 2/3 innings, improving to 3-1 with a 5.40 ERA versus Anaheim.
He'll try to even this series after the Angels claimed a 5-2 victory on Thursday night. David Freese highlighted a go-ahead fourth inning, driving in two of his club's four runs in the frame with a double.
Freese has a hit in eight of his past nine games to lift his average to .245 and has driven in six runs over his last six games.
"Hopefully he's finding a comfort level," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Freese. "We need him."
The Angels picked up their seventh straight home victory and 13th in their past 14 games in Anaheim, while Houston lost its fourth in a row overall.
Jose Altuve provided one of the few positive takeaways for the Astros, collecting three of the club's eight hits.
"It seemed like we weren't able to get the big hit," Astros manager Bo Porter said of their early chances. "We had our opportunities."
Brett Oberholtzer was tagged him for five runs on nine hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings. He was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City following the loss.
The Angels have won seven of 11 versus the Astros this season, taking two of three in the lone previous meeting in Anaheim from May 19-21.
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