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Sat, Jun 1, 2013 - 10:05 PM ET
 

Astros-Angels Preview

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The Los Angeles Angels appeared to be putting it all together during a recent tear, but they may have a tough series on their hands against the Houston Astros.

The Angels will try to get back on track after having their home winning streak snapped, while the suddenly hot Astros seek their longest run in more than a year Saturday night.

Carlos Pena had three hits and Jason Castro added his seventh home run to help Houston (18-37) stop Los Angeles' season-best six-game home win streak with a 6-3 victory. The Angels had won 10 of 12 overall.

The Astros, who won their third straight, haven't taken four in a row since May 21-25, 2012.

"We're just trying to ride this out,'' center fielder Brandon Barnes said. "We're going out there and playing hard-nosed baseball.''

Los Angeles has scored 10 runs in its past four games after averaging 7.3 in the previous nine. It will now face a Houston team that's posted a 2.63 ERA in winning four of five.

Bud Norris (4-4, 3.71 ERA) will try to keep the Angels' bats quiet again while beating Los Angeles for the third time in as many matchups this season. Norris has held the Angels to one run in 15-plus innings in the two games.

Since allowing a season-high seven runs over five innings of a 7-2 loss at Detroit on May 13, Norris has given up two runs over 13 innings in his last two starts.

He worked his way out of several jams Monday, giving up two runs over seven innings of a 3-2, 12-inning win over Colorado on Monday.

"He was absolutely fantastic,'' manager Bo Porter said. "He kept his composure and just made quality pitch after quality pitch.''

Josh Hamilton homered off Norris in the right-hander's last start against the Angels, a 3-1 victory May 8.

Hamilton went 1 for 4 on Friday after missing two of the previous three games with back spasms. He's batted .345 with 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 39 career games against the Astros.

Albert Pujols, who has been battling chronic foot and knee problems, is expected back in the lineup after getting the night off in the opener. He's 7 for 31 (.226) with no homers against Norris.

Erick Aybar provided one of the few Angels highlights Friday, going 2 for 4 with his first home run. He's 9 for 26 in his past six games.

Jerome Williams (4-1, 2.58) has given Los Angeles' rotation a boost, going 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA over his last four starts. He'll try to cool off a Houston team that's totaled 19 runs in its past three games.

Castro has been on a tear, going 14 for 26 with three home runs and six RBIs in his last eight contests.

Chris Carter, who had an RBI single Friday, is 8 for 21 with three homers and eight RBIs against the Angels this season.

Tagged: Angels, Astros, Bud Norris

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