HOUSTON -- When the Angels acquired both Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton by trades on Aug. 31, manager Mike Scioscia envisioned nights liked what happened on Sunday night.For a team with big-name hitters throughout the lineup, the Angels had been slumping. They broke out of it in a big way,
HOUSTON -- When the Angels acquired both Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton by trades on Aug. 31, manager Mike Scioscia envisioned nights liked what happened on Sunday night.
For a team with big-name hitters throughout the lineup, the Angels had been slumping. They broke out of it in a big way, beating the Astros, 7-5, to snap a six-game losing streak.
"Anytime you win a game, it feels good," said Phillips, who hit his first home run as an Angel after coming over from Atlanta and his first since Aug. 19. "We really needed that. We needed wins way before that.
"But the way we played today, anything can happen. It's not over. I tell everybody, just believe in ourselves."
Phillips was referring to the second American League Wild Card spot. The Angels trail the Twins by 4 1/2 games with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Phillips was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, including drawing a bases-loaded walk in the Angels' two-run fifth inning that tied the game at 4-4.
"Brandon looked really comfortable," Scioscia said. "All of our guys did a good job of getting pitches in the zone and hitting it. I think Brandon was right there. Hit the ball hard a couple of times. He had a big night."
Upton, who came to the Angels from Detroit, hit his career-high 35th home run in the eighth inning that increased the Angels' lead to 7-5. Upton has three homers in the last two games against Houston and has seven homers for the Angels this month. It was his fourth home run this year against the Astros.
"We had good at-bats with the exception of guys in scoring position. We were 2-for-16 with guys in scoring position," Scioscia said. "We had a lot of opportunities."
The Angels, who had been outscored, 29-13, in their six-game losing streak, had 11 hits on Sunday. Houston pitchers walked the Angels five times.
"We hit the ball hard out there," Scioscia said. "We did a good job of working some counts. The walks were huge. The guys passed the baton. We had really good at-bats against a team that can really pitch."
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Angels on Sunday.