American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 1st
(All times Eastern)
Houston Astros (18-37) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (25-30), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Bud Norris (4-4, 3.71)
Los Angeles - Jerome Williams (4-1, 2.58)
(Sports Network) - In the second game of an American League West divisional
weekend series the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will square off once again
with the Houston Astros.
It was the Astros who picked up a rare win in Friday night's series opener as
they earned a 6-3 win behind a strong pitching performance from Dallas
Keuchel. Keuchel allowed just two runs on six hits over seven innings of work
and Jason Veras pitched a scoreless ninth inning to capture his ninth save.
Carlos Pena went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Jason Castro belted his
seventh home run of the season to lead the Astros to a season-high tying
Tommy Hanson took the loss for the Angels allowing five runs, four of which
were earned, on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
Erick Aybar went 2-for-4 and hit his first home run of the season but the
Angels had only seven hits as a team as they lost for the third time in the
last five games.
On Saturday it will be Bud Norris that takes to the mound for Houston as he
makes his 12th start of the season.
It is difficult to call a pitcher with a 4-4 record and an ERA of 3.71 an ace
but on the Houston staff that is just what Norris is. In fact Norris is the
only starter on the team with an ERA below 4.50 and one of only two with an
ERA below 5.30. Norris is also second on the team in innings pitched (63) and
Norris has done a good job of rebounding from his worst start of the season on
May 13 when he allowed a season-high seven runs in a 7-2 loss to Detroit. In
the two starts since Norris has allowed just two runs over 13 innings of work
though he has not factored in either decision.
During a career that has covered just five years so far, Norris has faced the
Angels twice. Norris has been dominant in those two previous outings as he is
2-0 with an ERA of 0.60 in those contests including an eight-inning, one-run
effort earlier this season.
Journeyman reliever and spot starter Jerome Williams will be getting the nod
for the Angels on Saturday.
Williams began the season out of the bullpen but was pressed into a starting
role due to injuries to the Los Angeles rotation. After his first eight
appearances all came out of the bullpen, Williams last five have all been
As a starter this season Williams is 3-1 with an ERA of 3.19 while overall
this season he is 4-1 with an ERA of 2,58, which at the moment, though it is
still quite early, is well below is career average (4.15).
Williams will be on a bit of extra rest for this contest with his last outing
coming last Sunday when he earned his third-straight victory while allowing
just two runs on seven hits in six innings against Kansas City.
Against Houston, a team he faced a bit more frequently earlier in his career
when he pitched for the Cubs and the Giants, Williams is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA
in four total appearances, though this will be his first this season.
The Astros now lead the season series 4-3.
06/01 10:25:23 ET