CHICAGO -- It's only a three-game stretch amid a losing streak that's reached a season-high-tying six games, but the Angels' offense is suddenly struggling to produce runs now.Their 3-1 loss Wednesday night against the Cubs at Wrigley Field was the third straight time they've been limited to one run, after
CHICAGO -- It's only a three-game stretch amid a losing streak that's reached a season-high-tying six games, but the Angels' offense is suddenly struggling to produce runs now.
Their 3-1 loss Wednesday night against the Cubs at Wrigley Field was the third straight time they've been limited to one run, after scoring 16 runs in the first three games of the losing streak.
"We're just not finding holes," said Mike Trout, who went 1-for-4, has just one hit in the past three games and is hitting just .200 in the losing streak. "We're having good at-bats, hitting balls hard, [but] just right at people."
Next up is a four-game series against the Indians at Progressive Field to end a nine-game road trip that has yet to see the Angels win.
"It's [just] baseball, because sometimes you don't square it up and they drop," Trout said. "We're just going through a little thing right now. It's just we've got to come back and try to win a ballgame [Thursday]."
Part of the reason for the offensive power outage is who the Angels are facing. In getting swept by the Cubs during the brief two-game visit to Chicago, John Lackey (9-7, 3.56 ERA) stymied them for eight innings Tuesday and Jason Hammel (12-5, 2.90) did the same over seven innings Wednesday.
Chicago's bullpen also got out of a jam in the eighth Wednesday with just one run allowed, after the Angels put the tying runs in scoring position with no outs to start the inning. Rookie Carl Edwards Jr., the Cubs' third reliever of the inning, got three straight outs to preserve a 2-1 lead.
Edwards, who touched 96 mph with his fastball and threw a biting curveball, struck out Trout on a check swing for the first out. He got Albert Pujols to hit into an RBI groundout for the second out and then induced an inning-ending groundout by Andrelton Simmons.
Hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth to finish it off.
"They pitched well, but we hit some balls hard with not a lot to show for it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Their bullpen's been revamped a little bit and they got it done tonight, but those guys are pitching very well, playing good defense, and we didn't get too many good looks at it."
Brian Hedger is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Angels on Wednesday.