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American League Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, June 5 (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (31-27) at Houston Astros (25-35), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Tyler Skaggs (4-3, 4.14) Houston - Brad Peacock (1-4, 4.76)

(Sports Network) - It's no Mike Trout, no problem for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Angels were successful without their star outfielder for game two of a three-game series on Wednesday night and will try to continue that trend in the finale with the Houston Astros Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

Trout left Tuesday night's series opener -- a 7-2 win for Houston -- and sat out Wednesday after undergoing an MRI on an injured back. He's not expected to go on the disabled list, but also isn't expected to play Thursday in order to get one more day of rest and recovery.

"If I don't feel it at all, I'm going to play. If I feel it a little bit, I should just be smart about it," Trout said.

The Angels won Wednesday, 4-0.

"This is a big win for us. We had lost four straight, and we definitely needed to change the tone around the clubhouse," reliever Joe Smith said.

Tyler Skaggs makes his third start against the Astros in 2014 while aiming for a third straight win. He's tossed 15 innings against them across two outings, striking out 11 batters and compiling a microscopic 0.60 earned run average.

He's lost two straight starts against other foes, including an 11-3 loss Saturday at Oakland.

Houston replies with veteran Brad Peacock, who's unbeaten in two starts after going winless with three decision losses in his initial five starts.

He allowed a single run in six innings while getting a no-decision Thursday against Baltimore.

Peacock has one career start against the Angels and allowed two unearned runs in 6 1/3 innings. In one relief outing, he was nicked for four runs and five hits.

On Wednesday, Garrett Richards pitched a season-high eight innings and tied a career high with nine strikeouts, leading the Angels to victory. Richards (5-2) snapped a three-start winless streak, allowing just four hits without a walk.

The right-hander gave up a leadoff ground-rule double to Dexter Fowler in the first inning and just three singles after that, including one to Fowler in the third. Joe Smith threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the win.

Los Angeles scored three of their runs off Houston starter Jarred Cosart (4-5), who went 6 2/3 innings and allowed eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.

06/05 10:43:52 ET