HOUSTON -- Josh Hamilton turned from his locker and saw a group of reporters waiting to talk to him after Saturdays game against Houston. Genesis Cabrera Jersey . "Im not answering any questions about hitting," he said. That was just fine after the defensive show the Angels struggling slugger put on in Los Angeles 7-2 win over the Houston Astros. Joe Blanton pitched seven sharp innings, and Howie Kendrick and Chris Iannetta both homered to lead the Angels. Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar drove in two runs apiece in a big fourth inning, but it was Hamilton who everyone was talking about. He likely robbed Houston of two home runs with his glove. "Through this whole struggle on the offensive side with him trying to find his comfort zone in the box, hes played great defence for us," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "Great range, today he took away a couple home runs. Josh made them look easy." Blanton (2-10) tied season lows with three hits and two runs, pitching six scoreless innings before a two-run home run by Brett Wallace in the seventh. He appreciated the work of Hamilton perhaps more than anybody. "They were both great catches," Blanton said. "Short field over there, he played the wall great, timed his jumps perfectly, made two outstanding plays." Kendricks solo homer came in the fifth and Iannetta tacked on two with a home run in the eighth. Houston starter Jordan Lyles (4-3) was done in by a four-run fourth inning by the Angels. He allowed five hits, four runs and walked two in four innings for his first loss against Los Angeles in three starts. Blanton was perfect through 3 1-3 innings before a double by Jose Altuve. Altuve advanced to third on a wild pitch before a two-out walk to Chris Carter. Blanton escaped the jam when Hamilton leaped to grab a fly ball hit by J.D. Martinez at the wall in right field. It was the second time Martinez hit the ball hard and came away empty. Mike Trout caught another drive from him on the warning track in left-centre in the second inning. Hamiltons second nifty defensive play came when he jumped and reached over the short wall in right field to catch a ball hit by Matt Dominguez in the seventh inning. Hamilton tumbled to the ground after the catch while Dominguez stood motionless and stared at him in disbelief. He didnt think the first one would have been a home run, but was certain that the second one would have gone out. Hamilton, who joined the Angels this season after signing a five-year, $125 million contract, is hitting just .221 with 10 homers this season. He was disappointed in a span earlier this season when he wasnt hitting well and he was struggling on defence. "If you dont do it at the plate you want to do it in the field, and during that stretch I wasnt doing it either way," he said. "I felt like I wasnt. But I feel better. Everybody keeps telling me to go out and play and have fun. Just relax." He did just that on Saturday, and said making plays like that "are favourite things for me, more fun than hitting a home run." Mark Trumbo singled to get things going in the fourth inning. Lyles then started to struggle with control, plunking Howie Kendrick before walking Hamilton to load the bases. Callaspos single scored Trumbo and Kendrick to make it 2-0. Things continued to go downhill for Lyles when he hit Peter Bourjos with a pitch. Aybars two-run single pushed the lead to 4-0, but he was out trying to stretch it into a double. Lyles finally escaped the inning when Trout lined out to Brandon Barnes in centre field. "I think it is one of those things where you try to make the perfect pitch, and you are falling behind and you try to make a better pitch and a better pitch and a better pitch. He could not get his fastball command back," Houston manager Bo Porter said of Lyles in the fourth inning. Kendrick hit his ninth homer of the season to the seats in right field off Josh Fields with two outs in the fifth to make it 5-0. Carter walked with no outs in the seventh before Wallace hit his first homer of the season with one out to the Crawford Boxes in left field to make it 5-2. Bourjos bruised his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch, and he left the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Trout took over in centre field for Bourjos, and J.B. Shuck entered the game in left field. Bourjos said he was sore after the game. Scioscia said he would have X-rays on the wrist as a precaution. NOTES: Houston reliever Travis Blackley shoved Shuck when he tagged him in the back on a rundown eighth inning. He regretted the move soon afterward. "I never try to be malicious toward anyone," he said. "It was one of those things where the heat of the moment kind of got me. I dont mean anything by it." ... The series wraps up on Sunday when Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson opposes Lucas Harrell. ... Someone from Houstons dugout yelled "got it," causing Los Angeles catcher Hank Conger to let a foul ball he could have caught drop during Friday nights game. Porter wouldnt say who did it, but was unhappy with the incident and called Scioscia to apologize on Saturday morning. "I apologized to him on behalf of our ball club," Porter said. "Its not something that I condone, and I take full responsibility. It wont happen again." Scioscia wasnt that concerned about it. "He called and I appreciated it but its no big deal," he said. Cardinals Jerseys China . Here at TSN.ca we will take a look back at the season by bringing together a panel of experts to help pick the best 50 players of the season. Bruce Sutter Cardinals Jersey . It was just time for him to make a big play. Nicolas Batum had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 18 points, and the Trail Blazers overcame poor-shooting nights by two of their best players in a 94-90 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.Matt Moulson is headed to his third team this season. The Buffalo Sabres have traded Moulson and Cody McCormick to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Torrey Mitchell and a second-round draft pick in both 2014 and 2016. Moulson, 30, has appeared in 55 games between the Sabres and New York Islanders this season, scoring 17 goals and 21 assists. He was traded to the Sabres earlier this season along with a first- and second-round ddraft pick by the Islanders in exchange for forward Thomas Vanek. Marcell Ozuna Jersey. He is in the final year of a three-year, $9.4 million contract and is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1. Moulson was selected in the ninth round (263rd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has played 377 career games with the Sabres, Islanders and Los Angeles Kings, scoring 135 goals and 127 assists. ' ' '
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Joe Crede Jersey . -- The Royals shook up their coaching staff Thursday in an attempt to jumpstart their failing offence, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third base coach. Pedro Grifol, who took over as hitting coach last season, will now instruct catchers. The moves were announced after the Royals finished off a disastrous homestand that included a sweep at the hands of Houston, and before they opened a four-game series in Toronto. Sveum said the Royals havent done a good enough job this season of hitting pitches in the upper half of the strike zone. "The bottom line is weve struggled with elevation and weve swung at pitches down in the zone probably way too much," he said. "From thigh high to the top of the strike zone, were not doing enough damage." The Royals began the day last in the majors with 21 homers, putting them on pace to match the 1976 club for the fewest in franchise history for a non-strike-shortened season. Theyre also last in the American League in runs and slugging percentage. "There is not one man in the lineup thats hitting the ball well," Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said Wednesday. "Were just cold." Yost said "a different voice can make a difference," to struggling batters, but the Royals have heard plenty of voices about hitting: Sveum is Kansas Citys fifth hitting coach in less than three seasons. The Royals let go of Kevin Seitzer two years ago in the hope that somebody else would help the club generate more power. Seitzer was eventually hired by the Blue Jays, who currently lead the majors with 76 homers -- more than Kansas City is on pace for all season. Jack Maloof and Andre David were hired before last season, but they only made it a couple of months before they were reassigned within the franchise. It was at that point that the Royals hired Grifol and Hall of Famer George Brett on an interim basis. The Royals showed signs of life once that duo was in charge, slowly climbing into playoff contention. Grifol was given the job on a full-time basis after Brett stepped down in July, but lasted less than a year in the role. "Hes the one that pulled us out of our trouble last year," Yost said of Grifol Thursday. "A year later, we find ourselves in the exact same spot." Sveum, a former Brewers and Cubs manager, had been serving as the Royals third base coach. But he also has plenty of experience as a hitting coach, helping Milwaukee finish in the top three of the National League in homers in each of his three seasons. "Hes got experience, he studies hitting," Yost said. "Hes got a lot of knowledge. He helped Prince Fielder get, in my opinion, to the next level as an offensive performer." Ross Detwiler White Sox Jersey . The goals took Liverpools tally in the Premier League this season to 70, overtaking Manchester City as the top scorers, and left the fourth-place team just four points behind league leader Chelsea. Hugh Duffy Jersey . The thinking at the time was Clowney could have already been promised he would be selected first overall by the Houston Texans, therefore negating any need to meet with any other teams. The plot took another twist this week.Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Steve Delabar is going back to the minors. The righty was sent back down to Triple-A Buffalo for the second time this week in order to make room for Liam Hendriks who will get the start Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds. Delabar waas sent down Tuesday but was called back up for Thursdays game against the New York Yankees when Brett Cecil went to the disabled list. Jack Mcdowell White Sox Jersey . The 30-year-old has appeared in 30 games this season, recording a 4.91 earned run average and a 3-0 record. ' ' '