LA Angels of Anaheim (83-54) at Houston Astros (60-79), 8:10 p.m. (ET)
09/03/2014 10:58 AM
09/03/2014 11:07 AM
Whoever gets the chance to manage the Houston Astros next season will take the job knowing they have one of the best hitters in baseball on the roster.
Jose Altuve continues his march towards the American League batting crown on Wednesday night as the Astros wrap a quick two-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Altuve leads all of baseball with a .340 average, just ahead of Detroit's Victor Martinez and his .332 clip. Altuve has posted four hits in back-to-back games, including last night's 8-3 victory over the Angels.
Altuve hit a solo homer and also stole his 50th base of the season. He is seven hits shy of joining Craig Biggio (1998) as the only players in Astros history to reach 200 in a season.
"I try to go to the batter's box with a plan, look for one pitch. It depends on the situation, I just want to help my team win," Altuve said.
Altuve helped Tom Lawless get the win in his debut as the club's interim manager. Lawless took over after Bo Porter was fired on Monday and saw Houston win its third straight game.
The Astros banged out 15 hits on Tuesday, getting three from Robbie Grossman, and also saw Jason Castro drive in a pair of runs. That helped make a winner out of Brad Peacock, who was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.
C.J. Wilson surrendered five runs on eight hits and a walk over 3 1/3 frames for the Angels, who had a six-game winning streak snapped.
"I was the only person that costs us the game today," Wilson said.
The Angels still lead the Oakland Athletics by 4 1/2 games for first place in the American League West and look to rebound tonight behind ace Jered Weaver.
Weaver is trying to become the AL's first 16-game winner and is 3-0 over his last four starts. That span includes recent back-to-back wins over Oakland and the righty shut out the A's over seven innings in the most recent encounter on Friday. Weaver scattered three hits and three walks.
"It's nice to get run support and great defense behind you," said Weaver following the 4-0 victory. "A nice win we much needed."
The 31-year-old righty has won eight of his last nine decisions and sits 15-7 with a 3.57 earned run average on the year. He is 2-1 lifetime versus Houston with a 3.48 ERA in three starts.
Altuve is just 2-for-10 in his career against Weaver.
Getting the call for the Astros is Collin McHugh, who went unbeaten in August. In six starts last month, the righty went 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA as he allowed just eight runs over 37 2/3 innings.
The 27-year-old righty capped his month with a 4-2 win over Texas, giving up two runs over seven innings as he worked around eight hits. McHugh did not walk a batter while fanning six.
McHugh is 7-9 with a 2.99 ERA on the year and 1-2 in three previous meetings with the Angels despite a 2.25 ERA.
The Angels have won 10 of 15 versus the Astros this season, sweeping a four- game set at home in the most recent encounter from July 3-6.
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