Astros have been thorn in Angels' side

Astros have been thorn in Angels' side

Astros have been thorn in Angels' side

HOUSTON -- Only one team has been less than happy to see the Astros during the club's first season in the American League West.

It's a distinction the Angels would rather not have. Los Angeles was 3-7 against Houston entering Friday's game, which included a four-game sweep in Anaheim a month ago.

That's baseball, and teams get hot at certain times, but it's damaged the Angels' place in the standings considerably. Especially since Houston is 6-18 against the rest of the division.

"They've beaten us up," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

J.B. Shuck said players are usually aware of their history against a team, but they're trying to keep that far from their minds this series.

"You just don't think about it, focus on it at all," he said. "Teams change, and the games are always different."

Injured pitcher Tommy Hanson said the team's recent sweep in Detroit should make that process a lot easier.

"This team's looking forward, not backwards," Hanson said. "We're coming off a great series against one of the best teams in the American League. They've played well against us, but we'll be tougher."

Then again, that refrain could have been repeated before the last time the two teams faced off. Los Angeles had won 10 of 12 and appeared to be on its way back to the .500 plateau before Houston held the Angels to eight runs in the four-game set.

Scioscia said he's not sticking with the same managing style against the Astros this time around, but he admitted it's all a normal part of the managerial process.

"You're always changing as you gather information on matchups. Now that we've played these guys in the past -- 10 times now -- there's obviously adjustments we're trying out this series," he said.

"But what it comes down to, it doesn't matter who you're playing or where you're playing, but how you're playing. We haven't played well against them, and they've taken it to us. We need to play consistent baseball, as we did this week in Detroit, if we're going to change anything."

Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.