Astros drop all four in Anaheim

Angels continue to out-slug Astros to complete four-game sweep

Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

With the Angles already locking up the series win by taking the first three games, including sweeping a doubleheader on Saturday, the Astros tried to salvage a game in the four-game set on Sunday. Here is how they did:

Final Score: Angels 9, Astros 5.

Record: 21-19, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Mike Mayers (1-0, 2.93 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA).

Astros score an early lead, Angels take it away immediately

Houston would continue bringing in runs in the first innings of games, taking an immediate 2-0 lead in Sunday's game after a one-out walk by Josh Reddick set up a two-run home run by Kyle Tucker. Aledmys Diaz extended the lead by one more run, hitting a solo home run in the next inning to make it 3-0.

Framber Valdez would falter in the second and third innings and give up that three-run lead, though, allowing three consecutive singles in the second to score run, then giving up three in the third on a two-run home run by Anthony Rendon and a sacrifice fly.

Astros tie as Houston leans on Valdez a bit too far

The game stayed 4-3 over the next few innings until the bottom of the sixth when the Angels would get another run on an RBI-single to make it 5-3. Carlos Correa got that run back immediately to lead off the top of the seventh, crushing a solo home run to make it a one-run game. The Astros went on to tie the game a few batters later thanks to an RBI-double by Abraham Toro, but despite having a runner on third with one out, they could not retake the lead in the inning.

Despite the tough middle innings and allowing the runs along the way, Valdez would give his team a much-needed lengthy outing on the mound, completing seven full innings before returning to the mound nearing 100 pitches in the bottom of the eighth. Leaving him out there would end up costing Houston, as he would allow three straight singles to start the inning to give the Angels another go-ahead run at 6-5 and end his day.

Angels complete the four-game sweep

Chris Devenski would enter out of Houston's bullpen, still no outs in the inning, and issued back-to-back walks to bring in another run. Los Angeles then blew it open with a two-RBI single to make it 9-5 before Brooks Raley would enter to get two strikeouts to finally put an end to the inning. The Astros would come up empty in the top of the ninth, giving Los Angeles the four-game sweep.

Up Next: Houston will travel up the California coast tonight to begin a five-game series with the A's over the next four days. The series will start Monday at 8:10 PM Central with Cristian Javier (4-1, 3.35 ERA) pitching for the Astros and Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.72 ERA) on the bump for the A's.

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Grant Enfinger joins Trey Campbell. Photo via: Wiki Commons

I was lucky enough to sit down and talk to one of the Premier NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series drivers, Grant Enfinger. We talked about Friday's race at Martinsville and what some of the keys are to survive this tough track. We also talked about his week at Texas and what position that puts him in going forward into the rest of the season. Grant has been one of my favorites to watch ever since I have watched him in the old ARCA Series so it was good to talk to him on the phone.

SportsMap: I am joined here today by one of the premier NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series Drivers Mr. Grant Enfinger. Thank you so much for joining me.

Grant Enfinger: Yeah! Thanks for having me.

SM: So can you talk a little bit about your race at Texas and what happened with your truck? I understand you had some engine issues? What exactly went wrong there?

GE: Yeah It was definitely an unfortunate event there. When we unloaded the truck we weren't where we needed to be. But my crew-chief Jeff Hensley and the guys worked hard to get this #98 Champion Power Tools Ford F-150 where it needed to be, and we were battling for seventh and eight and the engine started missing for about a half a lap and it just blew up all of [a] sudden. It was just unfortunate that it had to happen in a critical race and it kind of put our backs behind the walls for Martinsville. But we got a good group of guys and I think we will have a good shot at it.

SM: So you mentioned you guys are going to Martinsville this week where we see a lot of beating and banging and you'll be contending against your teammates Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton for the final spot in the championship. Will you be racing those guys any different knowing how much is on the line?

GE: Well for us, it's a little bit different you know. Me and Ben are in a position that we have to win so us at ThorSport have quite our work cut out for us each weekend. We aren't all in the spot we want to be in. It would be much better if we all had a points cushion going into this but none of us have that. So obliviously we don't want to put our teammates in a bad spot but when it comes down to it at Martinsville on that last restart, anything goes. So hopefully we have a Champion Fire Equipment Ford F-150 that is good enough to stay up front and not have to worry too much about it.

SM: So with this year being as strange as it is, NASCAR has had to make a lot of changes from the Choose Rule to there being no practice and qualifying. Which rule change has been the most difficult to adjust to?

GE: There have definitely been a lot of changes for this year especially there being no fans or limited amounts of fans and that's really going to have a big effect on our sport. Plus, the sponsors can't come down into the garage area and be around the team so it's been different. But I think the biggest change performance wise has been losing practice and qualifying. I don't feel like it effects the cup guys too much or the top dozen in the Xfinity Series cause of the cup technology. But for us, we are still racing and there is a lot of old school type of guesses. We don't have it down to an exact science and my crew chief Jeff Hensely kind of has to go with his gut on some of the setups, but I feel like we have done okay for the most part.

SM: So looking forward to 2021, what are some of the plans for the Truck Series next season? Will we be seeing anything new with the truck rules package or with the schedule?

GE: I think for the most part our rules package will pretty much stay the same. Of course, NASCAR is never scared to change anything last minute but that seems to be the direction we are going. As far as the schedule, I know that we are going to some new tracks next year. Our schedule hasn't been confirmed, but from what I'm hearing, we will be going to some new places so it should be an interesting season next year.

You can hear the interview in its entirety below.

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