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Angels lose to Astros to close 3-7 trip

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

By JEREMY RAKES

Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) After the way the road trip went, the Angels can't wait to get back to Los Angeles.

Jose Altuve and George Springer drove in two runs each during Houston's four-run eighth inning as the Astros pulled away for an 8-5 win over the Angels on Thursday night.

The Angels finished the three-city, 10-game road trip 3-7.

"There's some things on the trip that we like what we saw and there's some things that we didn't get done on this trip," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "It comes down to I don't think - we definitely didn't swing the bats to our capabilities and we didn't pitch the way we can. It was a bit of a lull and we paid the price for it."

Mike Trout had two hits, including a double and a triple, and Chris Iannetta had three hits for the Angels, who have lost five of their last six games.

Trout was the designated hitter after missing three of the last four games with back problems. He started in the opening game of this series, but left in the second inning because of his back.

Trout said he felt good and expected to return to the field Friday.

"It never tightened up, nothing," Trout said. "I didn't feel really anything. I stretched it really well between at-bats but I think running around in center field will keep it loose, too."

After Houston went ahead 8-3 in the eighth, Erick Aybar drew a bases-loaded walk and Collin Cowgill grounded into a fielder's choice to pull the Angels within three. Chad Qualls then struck out Trout and got Albert Pujols to pop up to first to end the game and pick up his sixth save.

"I don't know if we gave it away we just couldn't hold that deficit," Scioscia said of the Astros' big inning. "We were in the game the whole way and in the eighth inning they showed some patience. A couple of pitches were close, we didn't get the calls and Altuve got a big hit with Springer and those guys padded their lead."

Tyler Skaggs (4-4) allowed four runs and six hits with four strikeouts in five innings while losing his third straight start.

"Of course it's frustrating," Skaggs said. "They had some good at-bats tonight. They put the ball in play and things happen when you put the ball in play. You never know. The infield singles in the first inning were definitely frustrating."

Los Angeles trailed by three before Aybar's RBI single and Trout's run-scoring double made it 4-3 in the fifth.

Altuve had two hits, including a two-run double in the eighth, and Springer finished with three RBIs for the Astros, who drew eight walks.

"It's not a secret that we have been playing better baseball lately," Altuve said. " It seems like we are putting everything together, going out there and playing hard and we are winning the games."

Four of the walks came in the eighth by Cam Bedrosian, who was called up from Double-A earlier this week, setting up Altuve and Springer's hits.

"We've got some power arms down there and there's going to be some walks occasionally," Scioscia said. "Sometimes that goes with the territory. I think we've gotten better. We just - some things got away from us tonight.

"We walked what eight runners tonight? That's a lot of runners to put on base."

Dexter Fowler also had two hits and went 6 for 11 in the three-game series.

Brad Peacock (2-4) allowed three runs and six hits with a strikeout in five innings. Over his last three starts, Peacock has given up four runs in 17 2-3 innings.

Houston took the lead with a three-run fourth. Robbie Grossman drove in a run on a squeeze bunt. Carlos Corporan and Fowler followed with RBI singles to make it 4-1.

The Angels went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first on Pujols' sacrifice fly.

Springer had a sacrifice fly of his own to tie it in the bottom of the inning.

NOTES: The Angels worked out Trout in the afternoon before putting him back in the lineup. Scioscia said Trout felt good swinging in the cage and that he expects him to play in the field Friday. ... Los Angeles OF Raul Ibanez broke an 0-for-16 slump with a single in the sixth inning.

Updated June 6, 2014

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