The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hope that Jerome Williams can pick up his first victory since June 12 on Friday night when he starts the opener of a three-game series versus the Houston Astros.
Williams is 0-6 with a 7.10 earned run average over his past 11 appearances, each of the last 10 of those starts. He seemed poised to snap his winless stretch on Sunday in Cleveland, but instead settled for a no-decision.
The 31-year-old righty did not allow a run over 5 2/3 innings versus the Indians, but could not close out the inning as he failed to retire any of the final four hitters faced. Two of those batters hit two-run homers before his exit.
"He just got fuzzy and wasn't able to get the last out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on his team's website. "Up until that point, it looked like he was in total command."
Williams is 5-8 with a 4.85 ERA in 18 games this season, including 17 starts. He is 0-1 with a 2.03 ERA in two previous starts this year versus Houston.
The Angels avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees and halted a four-game slide with Thursday's 8-4 win. Chris Nelson hit a pair of homers for Los Angeles, including a grand slam in the eighth inning. That gave him a career-high five RBI on the day.
Hank Conger, J.B. Shuck and Josh Hamilton knocked in a run apiece for the Angels, while C.J. Wilson needed a season-high 124 pitches to get through 6 2/3 innings. However, he still won his fifth straight decision, giving up just one run on 11 hits.
"We'll take any wins we can get right now," Wilson said. "I was lucky to give up mostly singles and that prevented them from having the big innings."
The Astros are coming off Thursday's 5-0 loss to Oakland, a setback that prevented them from sweeping the three-game set. Still, it was Houston's first series victory since it took two of three from Milwaukee on June 18-20.
"It's always good to come in and play a team of the (Athletics') caliber and walk away with a series win," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "I felt like the guys played well. You look at today, I just thought the guy they had on the mound was pretty dominant and better than our guy."
Porter's guy, Erik Bedard, gave up five runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings to take the loss, while Oakland's Sonny Gray hurled eight scoreless innings to log his first career victory.
Robbie Grossman went 2-for-4 for the Astros, who have only won twice in their last nine games.
Houston will start Brad Peacock tonight for the third time since he rejoined the club's rotation at the beginning of the month.
The righty lost at Minnesota on Aug. 4, though he struck out 10 batters in a quality start, giving up three runs over seven innings.
Peacock then got a no-decision versus Texas on Saturday, yielding a run on three hits and four walks over six innings. That left him 1-4 with a 6.43 ERA in 11 games with Houston this season, including seven starts.
The 25-year-old faced has faced the Angels once before, a relief outing on June 2.
The Astros own a 7-6 series advantage over the Angels, including a four-game road sweep from May 31-June 3.