- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 4, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Hoping to help the Angels break out of a recent funk, C.J. Wilson instead struggled while battling a funk of his own.

Wilson was unable to locate his pitches in Tuesday night’s 7-2 loss to the Houston Astros. After the game he said he’s been dealing with flu-like symptoms for days.

“You’re not going to feel 100 percent, so you just go out there and give everything you have,” Wilson said. “Sometimes the balls find holes, and sometimes you can’t find the strike zone. It’s been pretty rare for me to have a game like that, but there it was.”

Wilson (6-5) walked a season-high five batters, including four in the third, in just 2 2-3 innings and the Angels lost their fourth straight, their worst skid since last August.

“I didn’t pitch very well, which is unfortunate, because our team needed that game tonight,” Wilson said. “You’re going to have a game like this every two years or something like that.”

It was Wilson’s shortest outing since Sept. 9, 2012.

Jon Singleton homered and had two RBIs in his major league debut for the Astros, and Chris Carter also homered. Jason Castro and Robbie Grossman drove in two runs apiece as Houston took the lead with a five-run third inning.

Josh Hamilton had a solo homer in the eighth inning in his return from the disabled list after breaking his left thumb on April 8. In the previous at-bat, Hamilton hit a towering fly ball to center field that Fowler caught on Tal’s Hill, just short of the 436-feet sign.

“Anywhere else in the world, he would have had two home runs except here,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Shortly before going to the disabled list, Hamilton menaced the Astros in a four-game series by hitting .643 with two homers and six RBIs. After going 1 for 3 with a homer and a walk on Tuesday night, Hamilton is now hitting .588 at Minute Maid Park this season and .079 in four games elsewhere.

Adding to continued struggles from the starting pitching, the Angels have a new concern in the lineup.

Fellow outfielder Mike Trout was back after missing two games with a stiff back, but left in the second inning with more back trouble.

Trout will be evaluated on Wednesday and said he doesn’t know how he injured it.

“I just didn’t feel comfortable,” Trout said. “I didn’t want to risk it by pushing it too much … I don’t think it’s that severe, but we’ll see.”

Collin Cowgill replaced Trout and homered in the eighth.

Singleton walked and had two strikeouts and two errors at first base before he launched a towering shot off Matt Shoemaker into the bullpen in right-center in the eighth inning for his first major league hit to make it 6-2. Carter followed with his opposite field shot to the seats in right field to give Houston back-to-back homers for the first time this season.

Wilson walked three of the first four batters in the third inning to load the bases. Castro followed with his single to right field to put Houston up 2-0. Matt Dominguez singled to load the bases again and Wilson walked Singleton on four pitches to give the rookie his first career RBI.

He struck out Carter for the second out before Grossman’s full-count single drove in two more to stretch the lead to 5-0 and chase Wilson.

“It’s not like I gave up like two grand slams or something like that,” Wilson said. “They hit singles. I was making decent pitches and taking the sting out of the bat. But when you fall behind in the count too many times, they’re able to take better swings.”

Houston starter Collin McHugh (4-3) allowed two hits over five scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.52.

Los Angeles loaded the bases in the fourth after Albert Pujols singled, Hamilton walked and a batter was hit with two outs. McHugh escaped the jam when Chris Iannetta lined out to third.

NOTES: The Angels optioned right-hander Jarrett Grube to Salt Lake on Sunday to make room on the roster for Hamilton. … They also selected the contract of right-hander Cam Bedrosian from Double-A Arkansas and optioned right-hander Michael Kohn to Salt Lake. Bedrosian, a 22-year-old reliever, has a 1.47 ERA in 17 games this season for Arkansas. He struck out one in a scoreless sixth. … Houston optioned 1B Marc Krauss to Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for Singleton.

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