Houston at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
Houston (4-6) «3110000005100
L.A. Angels (2-8)000000000042

Angels shut out, match worst start in team history

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bud Norris has done a good job so far as the No. 1 starter for the Houston Astros.

Norris pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, Rick Ankiel drove in three runs and Justin Maxwell hit his first home run of the season, leading the Astros to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday in their first meeting as AL West rivals.

"I've had those kind of starts before in my career and I know I've got more left in me," Norris said. "It's not like anything changes. You try to do it every time and it's not necessarily going to go down that way."

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Norris (2-1) struck out five and walked two in his 100th big league start, helping the Astros win their third in a row after six straight losses.

Rookie manager Bo Porter used three relievers in the ninth to clinch the combined four-hitter.

"This guy's a No. 1 starter and he's pitched a lot of big games," Porter said. "I think his best years are definitely ahead of him. He's growing up right in front of our eyes, and it's a pleasure to see."

Singles by Brendan Harris, Mark Trumbo and Hank Conger were their only hits against Norris.

The Angels, coming off a three-game sweep by Oakland, have lost five straight and are off to a 2-8 start - matching the worst in franchise history.

The inaugural 1961 club also lost eight of its first 10.

Making matters worse was the way Friday's game ended, with Josh Hamilton forgetting the number of outs and getting doubled up at first base on Mark Trumbo's foul pop to Jason Castro.

"That's obviously a bad play. That's a mental mistake," manager Mike Scioscia said. "As perfect as players try to play, and as hard as they try to play, unfortunately mental mistakes are occasionally going to creep into the scenario.

"We've seen it from other teams, and unfortunately it got us tonight. And Josh knows it. He's accountable. He knows he messed up. So we're going to move on. It's a mental mistake. It happens. It's obviously ugly when it happens, and we're going to move on. That's it."

Tommy Hanson (1-1) threw 108 pitches through five innings, giving up five runs, eight hits and two walks.

The Angels, who have a $148.5 million payroll, have had their rotation struggle on this homestand.

Hanson, C.J. Wilson, Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas have allowed a combined 20 earned runs, 34 hits, four homers and 10 walks in 21 2-3 innings.

Ace right-hander Jered Weaver is on the disabled list for at least a month because of a broken bone in his left arm.

Garrett Richards will come out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season on Saturday.

Hanson gave up hits to his first four batters and threw 27 pitches before retiring anyone.

Jose Altuve singled and scored on a drive to right-center by Justin Maxwell, who was thrown out trying for a triple. TV replays showed that umpire Laz Diaz got the call wrong, as Luis Jimenez took the relay throw from second baseman Howie Kendrick and applied the tag after Maxwell's foot hit the bag.

Castro and Chris Carter followed with singles, and both runners advanced when Hanson attempted to pick off Castro and shortstop Brendan Harris mishandled the throw for an error. A full-count walk to Carlos Pena loaded the bases for J.D. Martinez, who struck out. But Ankiel grounded a two-run single just past shortstop on Hanson's 35th pitch, giving Houston a 3-0 lead.

Maxwell, who led the Astros last season with 18 homers, made it 4-0 in the second inning with a drive to left-center on a 2-1 pitch. It was the 18th home run given up in 90 1-3 innings this season by a Angels pitching staff that has a 5.38 ERA.

Ankiel, playing for his fifth big league club after signing a minor league contract with the Astros and getting an invite to spring training, completed the scoring with an RBI double in the third.

Notes

  • The Angels paid tribute to their late public address announcer, David Courtney, with a pregame moment of silence. Courtney died Nov. 29. His widow, Janet, threw a ceremonial first pitch -- wearing a No. 19 Angels jersey that signified the years her husband spent behind the microphone at the "Big A."
  • The Astros had a 3-3 interleague record against the Angels and were 1-2 in their only series at Anaheim in June 2007.
  • Jimenez, the Angels' top rookie in spring training, made his major league debut after getting called up from Triple-A Salt Lake because of injuries to 3B Alberto Callaspo and SS Erick Aybar. OF J.B. Shuck was optioned to Salt Lake.
  • Astros 1B Brett Wallace, 0 for 9 with five strikeouts against Hanson, sat out for the second straight game. He is 1 for 21 this season with 17 strikeouts.
 
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Josh Hamilton goes 0 for 4 as the Angels fall to 2-8, matching the inaugural team from 1961 for worst start.  (USATSI)
Josh Hamilton goes 0 for 4 as the Angels fall to 2-8, matching the inaugural team from 1961 for worst start. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Houston

B. Norris
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
Houston

J. Maxwell
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B5130000 .364
Justin Maxwell, CF4122111 .359
Jason Castro, C5110003 .243
Chris Carter, DH4110113 .268
Carlos Pena, 1B4110112 .250
J.D. Martinez, LF3000113 .240
    Brandon Barnes, PR-LF0000000 .375
Rick Ankiel, RF4023021 .182
Matt Dominguez, 3B2000204 .242
Marwin Gonzalez, SS4000015 .364
Totals35510567  
Batting
2B - Justin Maxwell (2, Hanson), Carlos Pena (4, Hanson), Rick Ankiel (1, Hanson)
HR - Justin Maxwell (1, Hanson)
RBI - Justin Maxwell 2 (4), Rick Ankiel 3 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Maxwell (3), Rick Ankiel 2 (5)
CS - Marwin Gonzalez (1, 2nd base by De La Rosa/Conger)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - M. Gonzalez-Altuve-Pena, Castro-Altuve
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bud Norris (W,2-1) 7300250 1.96
Hector Ambriz 1100010 7.20
Wesley Wright 0.1000000 4.15
Rhiner Cruz 0.2000000 1.50
HBP - Bourjos (by Bud Norris)
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 96-67, Hector Ambriz 9-8, Wesley Wright 2-2, Rhiner Cruz 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 7-8, Hector Ambriz 2-0, Wesley Wright 1-0
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 26, Hector Ambriz 4, Wesley Wright 1, Rhiner Cruz 1
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Peter Bourjos, CF3000021 .286
Mike Trout, LF4000022 .227
Albert Pujols, 1B2010200 .313
Josh Hamilton, RF4000013 .179
Mark Trumbo, DH4010001 .279
Howie Kendrick, 2B3000001 .316
Hank Conger, C3010000 .375
Luis Jimenez, 3B3000011 .000
Brendan Harris, SS3010000 .250
Totals2904026  
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Peter Bourjos 1
E - Brendan Harris (1, Missed catch of throw), Howie Kendrick (3, Missed catch of throw)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tommy Hanson (L,1-1) 5855221 6.55
Dane De La Rosa 2100120 2.45
Scott Downs 1000210 6.75
Ernesto Frieri 1100120 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 108-67, Dane De La Rosa 33-19, Scott Downs 24-13, Ernesto Frieri 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 5-7, Dane De La Rosa 1-2, Scott Downs 2-0
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 24, Dane De La Rosa 7, Scott Downs 5, Ernesto Frieri 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37674
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Laz Diaz