first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros FERNANDEZ HURTJose Fernandez was hit in the right hand by a Justin Verlander pitch in the first inning and came out of the game. X-rays showed no fracture, and Fernandez is considered day to day.He’s essentially become the Angels’ everyday first baseman in the three weeks since Albert Pujols underwent season-ending surgery.Fernandez had played only 27 games at first in the last two years in the minors, and seven in his eight years playing in Cuba. He was at in the lineup at first for the 26th game with the Angels, but he came out before taking the field.Previously a second baseman, Fernandez has impressed Scioscia with his ability to adapt at firsts. He also plays third.“He’s worked extremely hard,” Scioscia said. “He worked hard in spring training. He worked hard at Triple-A. He’s applied himself. This is the first time he’s played first base. You start to see things come a little more natural to him. A player always wants to continue to improve and work, and I know he will.”DINGERSThe Angels have hit 202 homers, the second most in franchise history. They are fifth in the league, ahead of the Boston Red Sox (195) and Houston Astros (194).“I think the guys that are supposed to drive the ball are driving the ball,” Scioscia said. “As far as the depth of our lineup, it has been a challenge because of some guys having rough first halves, and some guys were traded so less experienced guys have played.”Despite the homers, the Angels have scored 4.46 runs per game, which is just below league average. Their .314 on-base percentage and .414 slugging percentage are both just below the league averages of .318 and .416.UP NEXTAngels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 8-8, 3.69) at Astros (RHP Charlie Morton, 15-3, 3.15), 11 a.m., Sunday, Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Barría got Alex Bregman on a popup and then the Angels called a pitchout and threw out José Altuve trying to steal second.Barría escaped with a performance the Angels needed after their starters had been hit hard three games in a row. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 20 of his 25 starts.“I thought his stuff was as good as we’ve seen in the last three or four starts,” Scioscia said. “It picked up. He hit his spots. He had to work hard to get through five. I thought he did a good job.” Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone center_img Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros HOUSTON — A night that ended with a few Angels rookies letting the game get away began with another rookie continuing to show he’s one of the season’s bright spots.On Saturday night, Jaime Barría gave up one run in five innings against a Houston Astros team that has now seen him four times.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Barría has a 2.57 ERA against the Astros, better than his 3.54 overall ERA through 25 starts.“He’s made adjustments along the way,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think he has great feel on the mound. He pitched well with his fastball again. He kept those guys off balance. He didn’t use as many changeups, but the slider was good. He definitely gave us a chance to win.” Barría walked three and hit a batter, and he got bailed out by the Angels recording outs on the bases twice. He needed 96 pitches to get through five innings.He was in a particularly tough spot in the fifth inning. With the Angels trailing 1-0, the Astros had runners at first and third with one out and the heart of the order due.Related Articles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield last_img