ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels scored 86 runs while winning 10 straight games and running out to a huge lead in the AL West.
On a 100-degree afternoon at the Big A, the Angels’ bats finally cooled down.
Dallas Keuchel took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, and the Houston Astros ended the Angels’ 10-game winning streak with a 6-1 victory Sunday.
Mike Trout’s one-out single in the seventh was the first hit for the major league-leading Angels against Keuchel (11-9), who faced the minimum 21 batters through seven innings from a lineup that has scored a big league-best 728 runs. The left-hander yielded three late hits, giving up David Freese’s RBI single in the eighth on his 114th and final pitch.
“We’ve been swinging the bat great, and today we were having great at-bats,” Trout said. “But sometimes you’re going to run into a guy that’s throwing strikes and keeping us off-balance. So we’ve just got to turn the page and get ready for tomorrow. You can’t get worked up over one game because there’s just too many games.”
Keuchel’s brilliance ruined a potential landmark day for the Angels, who fell one victory short of matching the longest winning streak in franchise history, set during the club’s fourth season in 1964. Los Angeles (93-56) is still cruising toward its first AL West title since 2009 with a 10-game lead and 13 to play, but its magic number stayed at four with Oakland’s victory over Seattle.
Los Angeles lost for the first time since Sept. 4, also against Houston.
The Angels’ sizzling offensive run ended on a stifling day in Orange County. Hector Santiago (5-8) also didn’t help, failing to get an out in the third inning of his first loss in 13 starts and three relief appearances since June 15.
“Wherever you are in the standings, you have to turn the page after a game like this,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “You’ve got to throw it away. No one’s using the word ‘luxury’ around here. We were out there trying to win every game. There were no gimmies. We just never gave ourselves a chance this afternoon, getting so far behind. We never pressured them on the offensive side.”
Keuchel, who fell one out shy of a shutout at Anaheim in May, is a consummate ground-ball pitcher who has emerged as one of the AL’s best left-handers. Throwing strikes and forcing repeated groundouts, he retired the first 15 Angels before Chris Iannetta drew a full-count walk leading off the sixth.
“He’s a competitor,” Houston interim manager Tom Lawless said. “He’s not giving in. He can get behind in the count, but when his sinker is going … he can shut them down, changing speeds and moving the ball around.”
Gregorio Petit hit a three-run homer, Robbie Grossman added a two-run single and Jake Marisnick had three hits for the Astros, who have won nine of 13.
Santiago gave up five hits and five walks, including just the second homer of Petit’s 51-game career into the bullpen in left.
“It was actually a pretty good pitch,” Santiago said. “I went back and watched it, and it was down and in. But it was a 3-1 count, and I had to throw a fastball for a strike. He was probably cheating, and he got it.”
Lawless hated to see Keuchel’s no-hit bid end on Trout’s hit: “Just a broken-bat, lazy blooper that found the Bermuda Triangle out there,” he said.
Actor Simon Helberg from CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” filmed a scene for an upcoming episode of television’s top-rated sitcom on the field before the game. The joke involved a working model of the Mars Rover attempting to throw out the first pitch.
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock has been scratched from Monday’s game against Cleveland with back soreness.
Angels: Josh Hamilton still hasn’t played since Sept. 4, but the cleanup hitter feels improvement in his injured shoulder.
Astros: Collin McHugh (9-9, 2.79) will move up one day to start in Peacock’s place at home.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker (15-4, 3.16) looks to extend his franchise rookie record for victories.
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