(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will try to put a halt to their worst start in 22 years as they visit the Houston Astros on Friday night to begin a four-game series.
The Angels were outscored 26-8 in getting swept in a three-game series by the Seattle Mariners to begin the campaign. It marked the first 0-3 start for the franchise since it lost the first four contests of the 1992 season.
Los Angeles was held to just two ninth-inning runs in Wednesday's 8-2 setback to Seattle. Mike Trout and David Freese drove in the runs, but the Angels went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the game and just 1-for-18 in the series.
"We have to exercise patience on the offensive side," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're a better offensive team then we showed in this series."
Hector Santiago allowed four runs on seven hits over five-plus frames in his Angels debut.
The Angels chase their first win of the season tonight behind Garrett Richards, who ended last season on a bit of a roll to earn a rotation spot in 2014.
The right-hander was 7-8 with a save and 4.16 earned run average in 47 games (17 starts) a season ago, but each of his last 13 outings were starts and he was 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA in that span.
The 25-year-old Richards is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in five previous meetings, including two starts, with the Astros.
Coming off a club-record 111 losses a season ago, the Astros began this campaign with a pair of victories over the New York Yankees, but were unable to complete a sweep due to Thursday's 4-2 setback.
Jose Altuve and Dexter Fowler had an RBI apiece for the Astros, while Brett Oberholtzer got the start for Houston and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out five over 5 2/3 innings.
"We had our chances, especially early," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "We had baserunners everywhere. We were probably one big hit away from kind of getting some separation early in the game, but give the New York Yankees credit. They fought and found a way to get out of here with a win."
Fowler has helped get Houston some of its chances. Acquired from the Colorado Rockies in a December trade, Fowler had two hits on Thursday and joined Ken Caminiti as the only players in franchise history to begin their Astros careers with three consecutive multi-hit games.
After leading the American League with 17 losses a season ago, Lucas Harrell will try to get off to a good start tonight for the Astros.
The right-handed Harrell had a solid 2012 campaign by going 11-11 with a 3.76 ERA in 32 starts, but dipped to a 6-17 record and 5.86 ERA in 36 games (22 starts) last season.
Harrell won a rotation spot despite posting a 7.80 ERA in five starts this spring, but on the bright side, the 28-year-old does have a 1.53 ERA in three previous starts versus the Angels without a decision.
The Astros edged the Angels in the season series 10-9 last season, but lost six of the nine games played in Houston.