Bud Norris insists there are no tricks up his sleeve. The Astros right-hander says he isn't doing anything special when he pitches against the Angels; he's just doing what he's always done.
The numbers, however, suggest otherwise.
"He's been able to keep his fastball down and throw his slider in off spots," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's been tough on us."
In three games this season versus the Halos, Norris has allowed one run and 16 hits in 21 innings -- making him the first player to give up a total of one run in his first three starts against the Angels. He's also the first player to give up one run to the Angels in his first three starts of a season since Roger Clemens in 1992.
"I'm sure they're going to find some things on me here soon," Norris said after his most recent outing against the Halos, in which he tossed six shutout innings on June 1. "They're a good lineup, they know what they're doing over there, but I've got to stick to my strengths and keep going out there and doing what I'm doing because obviously, it's been working so far."
The man he faced that day, right-hander Jerome Williams, gets the ball again Friday. He went toe-to-toe with Norris, save for one pitch -- a two-run home run by Chris Carter, which was the difference in the ballgame.
Williams is coming off a rocky outing against the Pirates on Saturday in which he allowed four earned runs on eight hits in six innings. Since the beginning of June, the right-hander has seen his ERA rise from 2.58 to 3.36.
The Angels, coming off their second sweep of the reigning American League champion Tigers, are looking to carry that success into their series against the last-place Astros, against whom they've dropped four in a row and seven of 10 this year.
Angels: Hanson on disabled List
• The Angels placed starter Tommy Hanson on the 15 day Disabled List with a right forearm strain.
Hanson was scheduled to start Wednesday's game, but he was scratched just minutes before the game started. An MRI on Thursday revealed no structural damage to his arm.
"I'm not relieved," Hanson said of not requiring surgery. "Obviously I don't want anything wrong. But I'm kind of to the point where it is what it is. I'll take the seven days, rest it and get back after it."
Astros: Maxwell sits
• Outfielder Justin Maxwell was out of the lineup Wednesday night, a day after he was removed from Tuesday's game against St. Louis with a mild concussion.
Maxwell sustained the concussion making a diving attempt in the right-center-field gap on what turned into a three-run triple by the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter.
J.D. Martinez, who is hitting .241 with seven homers, replaced Maxwell on Tuesday and was in the lineup again on Wednesday.
• Norris has lost three of his last four starts, as the Astros have mustered just six runs over that span.
• In 95 career games at Minute Maid Park, Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is hitting .309 with 24 homers and a .947 OPS.
• Mike Trout is the only Angels hitter batting over .300 (minimum five at-bats) against Norris. He is 4-for-10 with three doubles.