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Yunel Escobar’s multi-homer day not enough to stop Astros, Halos go down 5-3 in series finale

Matt Shoemaker allowed a couple big homers and that was all Houston would need to win on Sunday.

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 3 Astros 5

For the second day in a row, Mike Trout did not play for the Angels. For the second day in a row, they were in a relatively close game, but unlike the first day, today’s game was a loss. Hey, without Mike Trout, I’m surprised they put up that much of a fight in two games against Houston to begin with, so I’ll just learn to love those little joys and disregard the achingly frustrating larger picture.

The Halos actually got out to a rollicking start, with Yunel Escobar feeling sassy and hitting a homer on the first pitch of the game. That’s the second time he’s pulled off that feat this season. I, for one, love when Escobar hits homers on first pitches. That’s just me, though.

Martin Maldonado also drove in a run, via single, off of Houston starter Mike Fiers in the second frame, giving the Halos a nice 2-0 cushion after just forty or so minutes of gameplay. The start was good. The end was the part that was bad.

Matt Shoemaker has yet to get through three innings in 2017 without letting the opponent score. He ALMOST pulled that off, though, as he had two outs on the Astros in the top of the third, but that’s when Josh Reddick, with runners on the corners, singled home one run, and he was then followed by Jose Altuve, who would hit a dinger and drive in the rest of the runners.

Once again, the Halos had two outs on the scoreboard and they totally blow it, this time allowing four to score, giving the visitors a 4-2 lead. From there, the Astros never looked back, and our beloved home town guys sputtered around until the final out allowed them to hit the showers and forget about this failure forever.

Escobar would actually hit another solo homer, his second of the day, making it 4-3 at one point, but Shoemaker would then give up a solo shot to Evan Gattis on the first pitch of the seventh inning. Shoemaker is having some career-worst numbers right now on walks and homers allowed, and this game was a perfect example of that particularly gruesome combo. Escobar tried to be a hero, but with Shoemaker allowing those bombs, it just wasn’t gonna happen.

The Angels lost to the Astros, with a final tally of 5-3, thus losing the series. It was a big one, where they could plant a flag in the AL West big dogs, saying “We’re here, and we’re formidable, too.” Instead, well...we got two games WITHOUT Mike Trout, and I don’t like the Angels’ chances against anybody when Mike Trout is on the bench, let alone a first place Houston team. So we didn’t REALLY see what this matchup was all about.

They were closer in these games than I would’ve imagined, so that’s something. We also got to see a pretty clean ninth inning from Keynan Middleton, so there’s that, too. This team is still OK, even though they’re back below .500. They just, you know, need Mike Trout to be in the lineup. Oh, and they need Shoemaker to stop giving up dingrz.

Just my two cents.