Garrett Richards, Albert Pujols lead Angels to victory

Garrett Richards
Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards struck out six and walked three in seven innings against the Mariners on Wednesday.
(Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images)

KEY MOMENT: Of the 41 runs given up this season by the Angels, 28 have come with two outs, including 23 by the Mariners, who were poised to strike again in the third inning when they put runners on second and third with two outs. But right-hander Garrett Richards struck out cleanup hitter Justin Smoak swinging at a nasty curve in the dirt to snuff out the threat.

AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols crushed his second home run in as many days, a two-run shot to left field in the third inning that moved the slugger past Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff and into 26th on the all-time list with 494 home runs. Since blasting a first-inning home run in Houston on Friday night, Mike Trout is four for 24 (.167) with no runs batted in.

ON THE MOUND: Richards gave up one hit, a single by Abraham Almonte in the third inning, in seven innings, striking out six, walking three and throwing 104 pitches. The cool air and open roof may have kept three potential Mariners home runs in the park, but it was still one of the best games of Richards’ career. Joe Smith struck out two in a one-two-three eighth inning, and Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth, striking out Corey Hart looking with a nice slider, for his first save of the season.

EXTRA BASES: The combined one-hitter was the first for the Angels since C.J. Wilson and Frieri shut down Oakland on May 22, 2012. … Shortstop Erick Aybar was scratched after having some dental work done Wednesday afternoon.


UP NEXT: The Angels are off Thursday. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will oppose New York Mets right-hander Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50 ERA) at Angel Stadium Friday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.

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