Angels look for recharged bats against Astros

HOUSTON -- With the offense sputtering and undermining what was a promising start to the season, Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia is seeking solutions for his unproductive lineup.

With outfielder Cameron Maybin having just one hit in his previous three games, Ben Revere made a third consecutive start Monday in the Angels' 3-0 loss to the Houston Astros. Revere went 0-for-4 and left three runners on base.

Maybin is batting .212 with one homer and two RBI in 37 plate appearances. Revere saw his average drop to .185 with one RBI after taking the collar in the series opener.

The Angels and Astros are set to square off again on Tuesday night.

With Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun entrenched in center and right, respectively, the Angels need either Maybin or Revere to make a play for increased at-bats.

"Ben's going to get his share of starts for sure and Cam's going to play a lot," Scioscia said. "We're going to go right now day to day and see how guys match up and get them out there.

"It's a good time for Cam right now to exhale a little bit; he's been really grinding it. All of the guys have. To get Ben in there a couple days I feel gives us a little boost.

"Cam's going to get, obviously, the lion's share of playing time in left field. Right now, we just mixing and matching a little bit until some of our guys get comfortable."

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (0-2, 5.40 ERA) will get the start for the Angels on Tuesday night. Nolasco is 6-1 with a 3.83 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts) against the Astros in his career.

In his lone appearance against Houston last season, Nolasco twirled seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in a 2-0 victory that came in his penultimate start of 2016.

Right-hander Joe Musgrove (1-0, 4.09 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Astros. Musgrove faced the Angels once during his rookie campaign, allowing one run and seven hits with four strikeouts in seven innings in a 4-1 victory in his final start of the season on Sept. 25.

Musgrove was a touted prospect before making his debut on Aug. 2, and the 10 starts he amassed late last season paved the way for his solid performance in spring training and led to him breaking camp with the team for the first time.

There was competition for slots in the back of the rotation, and Musgrove landed his position before right-hander Collin McHugh went on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.

"That's a good little base to go off of," Musgrove said of his 2016 starts. "I learned a lot last year going into this year, which has definitely made me a little more comfortable. Making the roster and knowing that I'm one of the best five guys that they want to put out there every fifth day gives you a lot of confidence.

"Especially knowing with the way the offseason went with trade (speculation) and the talk about (White Sox left-hander Jose) Quintana coming over, it means a lot to me and to a lot of the other starters that they had confidence and faith in us that we were the best guys to get the job done and they kept us around Houston."
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