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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, June 3rd (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (20-37) at LA Angels of Anaheim (25-32), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Erik Bedard (0-2, 5.32) LA Angels - Joe Blanton (1-8, 5.94)

(Sports Network) - The Houston Astros go for the rare four-game series sweep at Angel Stadium on Monday when they take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the finale.

Houston has won five in a row, and that includes wins in each of the first three games of this series. It marks the club's first five-game winning streak since April 30-May 5, 2012. The Astros have not reeled off six consecutive wins since the 2010 season.

"Those guys on the field are bringing it, when they're playing us, anyway," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think you can do a statistical analysis of their club and see some things that they haven't done at a very high level. But when we've played them, they've played at a high level and we need to play better. That's the bottom line."

On Sunday, Carlos Pena went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-4 win. Matt Dominguez drove in two runs in support of starter Jordan Lyles, who gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Over the last 17 games, Houston's starters have a 3.53 ERA and closer Jose Veras has recorded eight saves.

"I think that's something that just continues to build with your ballclub," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "Quality start after quality start with the next guy feeling 'OK, it's my turn.'"

C.J. Wilson took the loss for the Angels after yielding three runs on six hits to go along with nine strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

The Angels have not suffered a four-game sweep since August of last season when the Rays crossed home plate 37 times.

The Halos will turn to veteran Joe Blanton, who is vying to remain in the starting rotation after Scioscia goes with a four-man rotation following Thursday's off day. Blanton was dealt his league-high eighth loss last week at Dodger Stadium when he allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings. He was done in by a two-run homer to Luis Cruz. Blanton also suffered a May 8 loss at Houston when he was tagged for three runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, lefty Erik Bedard takes the mound for Houston. Bedard has allowed two earned runs in each of his last four starts. He gave up seven hits against the Rockies on Wednesday but limited the damage on the scoreboard, as the Astros hung around to plate three runs in the ninth inning to come back and win it.

With wins in the first three games of this series, the Astros are now 6-3 against their new AL West foes. They have held the Halos to a collective .218 batting average and just seven runs in the first three games of this series.

"If we can compete with the Angels, then we can compete with anybody," Astros reliever Hector Ambriz said.

06/03 10:31:16 ET

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