Angels-Astros Preview

The Associated Press

A trip to Houston appears to be the solution for the Los Angeles Angels' early problems.

After being swept in their opening series, the Angels look to sweep the Astros with a fifth consecutive victory at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.

Los Angeles (2-3) hit .177 while being outscored 26-8 in losing all three to Seattle at home, but has batted .354 and outscored Houston (2-3) 16-2 in two games. Josh Hamilton had three hits and homered in his second straight contest as the Angels won for eighth time in nine games at Minute Maid Park, 5-1 on Saturday.

Hamilton is 6 for 8 with two homers and five RBIs in the series, and batting .469 (15 for 32) with four home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games at Houston.

"I don't think it's necessarily the team," said Hamilton, a career .371 hitter at Minute Maid Park. "I love playing at this park. Before it was a rivalry thing - Texas and Houston. Maybe that helped a little bit. I can't pinpoint one thing."

Los Angeles pitchers posted an 8.33 ERA against the Mariners, but have allowed only one earned run and 11 hits while striking out 21 at Houston.

Scheduled Los Angeles starter Jered Weaver (0-1, 4.26 ERA) didn't feel well during his start Monday, but worked through 6 1-3 innings, allowing four runs, six hits, three walks and striking out six during the 10-3 loss to Seattle. His team trailed 4-3 when he exited but the Angels bullpen gave up six runs in the ninth, which Weaver never saw.

"I went in the bathroom and threw up, actually," he told the Angels' official website.

In his only previous appearance against the Astros, the right-hander yielded a two-run homer in six innings of a 6-2 win at Houston on Sept. 14.

Houston managed four hits off Tyler Skaggs, who went eight innings Saturday.

The Astros have 30 hits through five games and scored seven runs since opening with a 6-2 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

"You can't get too high or get too low this early in the season because we've still got a lot of baseball left,'' outfielder L.J. Hoes said. "Once everything starts clicking, we'll get on a roll and start winning some games."

Second baseman Jose Altuve had a hit Saturday, and is 6 for 16 (.375) through five games. He's batting .436 (17 for 39) in 11 career home games versus Los Angeles.

The Astros will hand the ball to Scott Feldman (1-0, 0.00), who is 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA in his last four starts against the Angels. However, he allowed two runs in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 4-3 loss last season while pitching for the Chicago Cubs in his first appearance versus Los Angeles since 2010.

Signed to a three-year, $30 million contract, the right-hander gave up two hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings against the Yankees on Tuesday.

"I can't say enough how big of a performance like that is in his first start as an Astro," manager Bo Porter told the team's official website. "To give us that kind of performance is tremendous."

Los Angeles' Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick are a combined 18 for 39 (.461) against Feldman.

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