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  • here’s only so much that can be asked of the best player in baseball.

    The Angels should be able to withstand a rare hitting slump by Mike Trout, and even a leaping Trout couldn’t snag a lined shot with the sun in his eyes at a critical moment Sunday.

    Maybe that’s what made a 7 5 loss to the Houston Astros all the more painful is that the Angels nearly did prevail in a game of huge swings.

    They erased a 4 0 deficit on a clutch home run by Luis Valbuena and were eager to win the series before Brian McCann’s three run triple to center field past Trout in the eighth inning was the difference on an emotional day for Houston.

    “I knew it was hit pretty good,” Trout said. “At night time, I catch it. I couldn’t take my eye off it with the sun. We were battling the sun all day. The outfield was tough today. I told myself I had to jump. I just missed it.”

    Trout walked twice, the latter to load the bases for Albert Pujols in the ninth inning , but is hitless in a career high five straight games and, at 0 for 17, is one out shy of his career high 0 for 18 slump in 2014.

    It’s a mere rut in what has otherwise been a tear for Trout since he returned from injury.

    “I’m seeing the ball good,” he said. “I’m just missing pitches. But things will change. It’s just things you go through as a baseball player. Just stay positive.”

    That was the vibe for the Angels following Valbuena’s two run home run in the sixth inning that gave them a 5 4 lead. His 100th career home run came against his former team, and it had the Angels on deck for their 39th comeback win this season.

    Reliever Cam Bedrosian began the eighth with two strikeouts but Jose Altuve ran out a single. It turned out to be a key play because Josh Reddick followed with a single and Yuli Gurriel walked to set up McCann.

    “It’s frustrating, but at that point right there, you’ve just got to man up there and find a way to get another out,” Bedrosian said. “Unfortunately today, I couldn’t.”

    The Astros said pregame they were distracted because of Hurricane Harvey. It showed in Reddick, who forgot how many outs there were and later committed an error.

    “It’s tough, it really is tough,” McCann said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the city of Houston. This is not good. You see pictures and it’s devastating. You just pray for everybody’s safety.”

    Angels broadcaster Jose Mota makes baseball and beisbol history
    The Astros built a 4 0 lead on a first inning two run home run by Altuve — the Mike Trout Jersey major league leading 32nd given up by Ricky Nolasco — and four straight singles in the fourth inning.

    But Nolasco retired the next eight batters to finish his start strong. He also got two double plays from his defense.

    “Some grit and some luck kind of got me through six [innings],” Nolasco said. “I tried to keep us as close as I could and did just make that adjustment staying on the rubber a little bit. I was rushing a bit early.”

    Ben Revere lined a full count pitch for a double past first baseman Gurriel to pull the Angels to 4 3 in the fifth inning. All five Angels runs came on two out, two strike hits. Pujols popped out to end it.

    “We battled all the way back,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We just couldn’t hold it.”

    Martin Maldonado was hit twice, including a 95 mph pitch to his knee from Houston’s Charlie Morton. Scioscia said Maldonado is fine.

    Harvey changes plans

    The Astros planned to fly into Dallas, then make a decision depending on the floodwater damage in Houston. They are off Monday but scheduled to be home starting Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, who also aborted plans to go to Houston.

    “Really, I think everything is up in the air,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “We might get to Houston sometime in the next couple of days and play, we might not, so I don’t know what’s possible.”

    Hinch was asked about the appropriateness of playing in the aftermath of a tragic event.

    “Now, me personally, I don’t like it but I understand that we are sometimes an escape from the rain, escape from the tragedies, escape from what’s going on around us, but the safety of everyone is No. 1,” he said.

    Short hops

    Yunel Escobar oblique probably will do a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday and Wednesday … Nick Tropeano elbow ligament replacement will go to Arizona with the hope of getting into instructional league work next month, Scioscia said. “Trope will definitely pitch off a mound and pitch in games before the winter’s over, as he finishes up his rehab, just to get a great frame of mind for going into spring training knowing he’s healthy,” Scioscia said.

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