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J-Up stays hot with homer off Astros' Cole

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton picked up his 11th homer of the season with a 395-foot line drive to left field off the Astros' Gerrit Cole in the first inning of Tuesday night's 5-3 loss at Angel Stadium. It was his sixth homer in his last 10 games, one that made him the first Angels left fielder to hit 11 homers in a season since Vernon Wells in 2012 -- and it's only May.

Upton has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games, going .323 (20-for-62) with a Major League-leading 21 RBIs over that span. His overall slash line has improved to .263/.321/.497 after an early-season slump had him at .229/.293/.376 with four homers in 109 at-bats at the end of April.

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ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton picked up his 11th homer of the season with a 395-foot line drive to left field off the Astros' Gerrit Cole in the first inning of Tuesday night's 5-3 loss at Angel Stadium. It was his sixth homer in his last 10 games, one that made him the first Angels left fielder to hit 11 homers in a season since Vernon Wells in 2012 -- and it's only May.

Upton has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games, going .323 (20-for-62) with a Major League-leading 21 RBIs over that span. His overall slash line has improved to .263/.321/.497 after an early-season slump had him at .229/.293/.376 with four homers in 109 at-bats at the end of April.

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"I think he's just seeing the ball and not missing pitches," manager Mike Scioscia said. "When he was in a little bit of a dry spell a few weeks ago, when he got a pitch, he was missing it. Right now, when he gets a pitch to hit, he's putting a good swing on it and he hasn't been missing it."

Upton's big fly snapped Cole's 36-inning homerless streak. He had allowed only three in his previous nine starts before allowing two on Tuesday, as Rene Rivera added a solo shot in the fifth.

Upton is now hitting .375 (6-for-16) in his career against Cole, with one double, one homer and four RBIs.

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels, Justin Upton