Hamilton, Angels return home to host Astros
(SportsNetwork.com) - Josh Hamilton found his swing in Chicago. He'll try to keep swinging a hot bat in a return home on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim begin a four-game set with the Houston Astros.
Hamilton went 23 straight games without a home run before going deep in an 8-4 victory on Tuesday in the opener of a doubleheader. While he didn't go deep in the second contest, he smacked his fifth longball of the campaign in Wednesday's 3-2 setback.
Hamilton, who has a hit in 10 of his last 12 games, is batting .313 on the year.
"It's been awhile since I had a homer. They usually come in bunches," said Hamilton. "It was good to finally see that changeup up and put a good swing on it."
David Freese also homered in Wednesday's defeat, just the Angels' third in the last 12 games.
Matt Shoemaker gets the call for the Angels tonight looking to rebound from his second loss of the season.
In his first setback since April 12, Shoemaker was tagged for eight runs on 11 hits and a walk in four frames of an 8-6 defeat at Kansas City on Friday. It was the right-hander's worst outing of the campaign and dropped him to 5-2 with a 4.50 earned run average on the year in 13 games with eight starts.
Shoemaker, 27, will make his first career start versus the Astros, but has allowed four runs over 3 1/3 innings of relief against them.
He'll be up against Houston left-hander Brett Oberholtzer, who had a successful return to the majors on Saturday.
Oberholtzer has pitched to a 1.86 ERA over his last three outings, winning back-to-back decisions on May 24 and 30 before going back to the minors. He returned to the Astros to replace an injured Dallas Keuchel (left wrist) and did not factor into Saturday's 4-3 loss to Detroit, allowing a run on five hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Oberholtzer, who turned 25 on Tuesday, is 2-6 with a 4.40 ERA on the year and 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two previous starts versus the Angels, who he will face for the first time this season.
The Angels have won six of 10 versus the Astros this season, taking two of three in the lone previous meeting in Anaheim from May 19-21.
The Astros have lost 12 of their past 16 overall and were swept in three games by Seattle to begin the week. They wrapped that set with Wednesday's 5-2 loss, getting solo homers from Enrique Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez, the No. 8 and 9 hitters in Houston's lineup.
Gonzalez finished with two of Houston's three hits, as the top seven in the order went a combined 0-for-24 with a walk.
"Offensively, we did not swing the bats well," said Astros manager Bo Porter.
Brad Peacock took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
07/03 10:48:27 ET