Angels unable to solve Astros' dominance

Angels unable to solve Astros' dominance

HOUSTON -- Evan Gattis homered twice, Carlos Correa added another and the Astros beat the division-rival Angels once again, torching Jered Weaver through the first four innings en route to a 7-2 victory at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night.

The Astros have won 10 consecutive games against the Angels and are a Major League-best 36-16 since May 23.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels can't overcome Weaver's short outing

Veteran starter gives up 3 HRs in hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park

Angels can't overcome Weaver's short outing

HOUSTON -- On the first, Evan Gattis extended his arms and lofted an outside-corner curveball just over the left-field scoreboard that sits 315 feet away from home plate. On the second, the Astros' catcher spun his hips on a changeup that hung out over the heart of the plate and drilled it 420 feet away.

"He hit one that could've been an out at a lot of different parks," Gattis' victim, Jered Weaver, said. "Then he hit one that is a home run in every park."

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lincecum seeks improvement in finale vs. Astros

In the finale of their three-game series, the Astros and Angels will pit a pair of veteran right-handers, with both eager to get back on track. 

The Angels will hand the ball to two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who has struggled in his first season with Los Angeles. The last time Lincecum pitched against the Astros, it wasn't pretty; he allowed seven hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings on June 28, and the Astros won, 7-1.

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Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Skaggs' progression impresses Perez

Angels lefty appears to have recovered from Tommy John surgery

Skaggs' progression impresses Perez

HOUSTON -- Carlos Perez witnessed Tyler Skaggs' progression from a unique vantage point.

Perez caught Skaggs in Spring Training, when Skaggs was familiarizing himself with throwing off a mound in the wake of August 2014 Tommy John surgery. Then Skaggs suffered a setback, was shut down for two months, began building himself back up, and Perez caught him again -- when Skaggs put together back-to-back dominant starts for Triple-A Salt Lake.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simmons' RBI too little, too late vs. Astros

Simmons' RBI too little, too late vs. Astros

HOUSTON -- Lance McCullers faced the game's most productive offense this month and dominated, twirling eight-plus strong innings to lead his Astros to a 2-1 victory at Minute Maid Park on Friday night, their ninth in a row against the division-rival Angels.

The Astros have gone a Major League-best 35-16 since May 23 and are now only 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Rangers in the American League West.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoemaker's losses add up with lack of support

Shoemaker's losses add up with lack of support

HOUSTON -- Matt Shoemaker has started 12 times since May 21. Ten times he completed at least six innings and allowed no more than two runs while still in the game. And on nine occasions his offense was held to no more than three runs until he came out.

Shoemaker has a 2.39 ERA in that stretch, and somehow his record is only 3-5.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout saw Altuve's potential back in Minors

Trout saw Altuve's potential back in Minors

HOUSTON -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout first played against Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in Double-A five years ago, when Altuve -- still 5-foot-6, but probably a little less filled out -- torched through the Texas League with a .361 batting average.

"They couldn't get him out," Trout said. "I knew he was going to be good."

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bedrosian reaching potential, gaining confidence

Bedrosian reaching potential, gaining confidence

ANAHEIM -- The one thing scouts never doubted about Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian -- who's armed with a mid-90s fastball and a devastating slider -- was his potential.

Now in his third season in the Majors, Bedrosian is starting to put things together. The results are frightening, at least to opposing hitters.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte's blast leads Halos to sweep of Rangers

Marte's blast leads Halos to sweep of Rangers

ANAHEIM -- Angels first baseman Jefry Marte got the green light and didn't miss, as his three-run, first-inning home run powered the Angels' offense to a 7-4 win and series sweep over the Rangers on Wednesday night.

Marte's blast sparked a four-run first inning as the Angels scored in each of the first four innings against Rangers left-hander Martin Perez. Perez, who owned a 5.49 road ERA entering Wednesday's start, got knocked around for seven runs in six-plus innings.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lineup depth fuels Angels' second-half streak

Club is 6-0 since break and is getting contributions from top to bottom

Lineup depth fuels Angels' second-half streak

ANAHEIM -- Already up 1-0 in the first inning with runners on the corners and one out, Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided it was time to tell first baseman Jefry Marte to let it rip.

Marte didn't miss, driving a three-run shot that would power the Angels to a 7-4 win over the Rangers on Wednesday night. It was their sixth win in a row, securing a 6-0 homestand after the All-Star break and just the second perfect homestand of six or more games for the club since 2004.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Graterol paid his dues in 11 years in Minors

Angels catcher grateful for opportunity with third team

Graterol paid his dues in 11 years in Minors

ANAHEIM -- Not much has even been expected of Angels catcher Juan Graterol -- he's never cracked the club's top 30 prospects on MLBPipeline.com -- but yet as he prepared to lace up his cleats Wednesday, he found himself in the Major Leagues.

Graterol's journey to this point has been long -- 11 years and three organizations, to be exact. So, it was understandable as 27-year-old walked around the clubhouse with a giant grin on his face when he first arrived in the Majors on Monday.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols' two homers power Halos past Texas

Pujols' two homers power Halos past Texas

ANAHEIM -- It was a nondescript night in July, the middle of a three-game series pinning two teams in opposite ends of the standings, but Albert Pujols reminded the Rangers of October.

In a performance akin to his epic three-homer masterpiece in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, Pujols put the Angels on his back Tuesday, launching a couple of three-run homers in an 8-6 victory at Angel Stadium, his team's fifth in a row and ninth in the last 11 games.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tropeano has UCL tear in right elbow

Starter will seek second opinion before deciding on treatment

Tropeano has UCL tear in right elbow

ANAHEIM -- Nick Tropeano became the third Angels starting pitcher to damage his ulnar collateral ligament when an MRI on Tuesday revealed a medium- to high-grade tear in the right elbow, a diagnosis that typically requires season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Tropeano will seek alternative opinions before deciding on either surgery, which would keep him out until the start of the 2018 season, or stem-cell therapy.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After 2 HRs, Pujols beaned but escapes injury

Angels DH stays in game after scary incident in seventh

After 2 HRs, Pujols beaned but escapes injury

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols managed a smile when he finally reached first base in Tuesday's seventh inning, and so did everybody else, too.

The Angels' cleanup hitter had taken a 92-mph fastball from Rangers reliever Tony Barnette to the side of the head, putting a dark spin on a night when Pujols cranked a couple of three-run homers to eventually carry his surging Angels to an 8-6 victory, their fifth in a row.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense helps Lincecum to win in shaky outing

Starter escapes jams, strikes out seven vs. Rangers

Offense helps Lincecum to win in shaky outing

ANAHEIM -- For a few moments on Tuesday night, it looked like Tim Lincecum had some flashes of his old, Cy Young-winning self.

The Angels right-hander, however, could not put it all together for a consistent outing before being bailed out by the offense in an 8-6 win over the Rangers.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Calhoun named Angels' Heart and Hustle nominee

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Calhoun named Angels' Heart and Hustle nominee

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels visit kids at local children's hospital

Angels visit kids at local children's hospital

ANAHEIM -- For some people, it just takes one special surprise to make all the difference in the world.

The Angels did just that Tuesday afternoon, as second baseman Johnny Giavotella, left-hander Andrew Heaney, catcher Jett Bandy and infielder Gregorio Petit surprised patients at the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). It's a monthly tradition for the organization, who frequently makes visits to visit the hospital.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels rally from early deficit, upend Rangers

Angels rally from early deficit, upend Rangers

ANAHEIM -- Trailing by four in the second inning, the Angels and their surging offense stormed all the way back against the first-place Rangers, taking the lead twice and using a booming home run from Mike Trout to run away with a 9-5 victory at Angel Stadium on Monday night, their fourth in a row.

The Angels -- winners of eight of 10 after a 2-12 stretch -- entered the game with the Major League lead in runs scored this month, then chipped away at the Rangers. Their nine wins this month surpasses their total for all of June -- in 13 fewer games.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Choi gets silent treatment, high-fives nobody

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Choi gets silent treatment, high-fives nobody

During the Rangers-Angels game on Monday night, rookie Ji-Man Choi hit his first home run of his career. It was a solid dinger over the right-field wall that brought his team within one run, 4-3.

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Angels' offense clicking since calendar hit July

Winners of eight of past 10 after 2-12 stretch, club trying to make up ground

Angels' offense clicking since calendar hit July

ANAHEIM -- When Mike Trout's line drive sailed into the bullpen Monday night, it gave the Angels a Major League-leading 95 runs in July, only 15 fewer than what they produced in 13 more games throughout a hapless June.

The 9-5 victory it prompted, over the first-place Rangers, was the Angels' eighth over their past 10 games, which followed a 2-12 stretch.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels must decide whether to deal starters

Shoemaker, Santiago and Tropeano likely candidates if trade is made

Angels must decide whether to deal starters

ANAHEIM -- Angels starters Hector Santiago, Matt Shoemaker and Jered Weaver combined to give up a single run in 23 innings during a sweep of the White Sox this weekend, a stretch in which they allowed 18 baserunners and recorded 21 strikeouts.

Starting pitching has been a major issue for the Angels, but it is the department that will garner the most interest from contending teams leading up to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soto back on DL, this time due to left knee

Angels catcher had other knee surgically repaired May 19

Soto back on DL, this time due to left knee

ANAHEIM -- Angels catcher Geovany Soto went on the disabled list again Monday, this time because of an issue with his left knee.

Soto had his right knee surgically repaired May 19, then was scratched from the starting lineup Sunday, nine days after being activated off the DL, and went right back on the shelf the following day. Soto had surgery on his left knee in 2012 and aggravated it this time while using it to compensate for his most recent surgery.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith's focus on regaining form, not trade talk

Angels reliever off since return, while Bedrosian has been setup man

Smith's focus on regaining form, not trade talk

ANAHEIM -- When Angels reliever Joe Smith came on to handle the ninth inning of an 8-1 series-finale victory over the White Sox on Sunday, it looked to be an innocuous appearance in a meaningless situation.

It was much more than that. Smith is still trying to find his way back after coming off the disabled list July 1. His left hamstring, which held him out for most of June, feels fine. His performance since coming off the DL -- a 7.94 ERA in six appearances entering Monday's 9-5 win over the Rangers -- indicates that he's a work in progress. To get back on track, he'll have to find his way in outings much like Sunday.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoemaker's 13-K win earns AL Player of Week honors

Shoemaker's 13-K win earns AL Player of Week honors

Right-handed pitcher Matt Shoemaker became the first Angels player this season to win American League Player of the Week honors, which was announced on Monday.

Shoemaker, 29, fired his first career shutout in a 1-0 win over the White Sox on Saturday. He also tallied a career-high 13 strikeouts and didn't walk a batter in the dominant outing.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols, Weaver propel Angels to Sox sweep

Pujols, Weaver propel Angels to Sox sweep

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols launched two homers in a game for the second time in 2016, powering Jered Weaver and the Angels to an 8-1 win and a series sweep over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

Pujols, who hadn't homered since July 2 in Boston, got to White Sox starter Jacob Turner with a pair of two-run home runs, in the first and fourth innings, respectively. Turner struggled in his first Major League appearance since 2014, being removed with two runners on and nobody out in the fifth inning before finishing with a final line of eight runs allowed.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim and covered the Angels on Sunday.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weaver masterful, 'heading in right direction'

Weaver masterful, 'heading in right direction'

ANAHEIM -- At one point this season, Angels right-hander Jered Weaver joked whether his hardest-thrown pitch was even worthy of being called a fastball anymore.

After seeing Weaver work seven innings of one-run ball and seeing his velocity tick up as high as 87 mph in Sunday's 8-1 win against the White Sox, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had a different way of describing the pitch.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim and covered the Angels on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blanks again: Angels stay stingy vs. White Sox

Los Angeles records second straight shutout of visiting Chicago

Blanks again: Angels stay stingy vs. White Sox

ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker was brilliant at Angel Stadium yet again Saturday night, tossing his first career shutout to secure a 1-0 Angels victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The Angels jumped on White Sox starter James Shields early, as Yunel Escobar lined a leadoff triple into the gap and scored on Mike Trout's groundout to take the lead. That was all they would get off Shields, who allowed just the run on two hits in eight innings. He would get no help from his offense, which extended its scoreless streak to 32 innings and has not scored since the third inning on July 9 against the Braves .

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim and covered the Angels on Saturday.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.