Garrett Richards pitched into the ninth inning on Sunday -- the longest outing of his career -- and the LA Angels of Anaheim shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-0, in the finale of a three- game series aat Angel Stadium.
Richards (2-0) was removed after walking the leadoff batter in the top of the ninth. He allowed just four hits, while striking out five and walking four to earn the win. Ernesto Frieri entered following the walk to Miguel Montero and closed it out to notch his seventh save of the season.
"My fastball command was key for me," remarked Richards. "I felt comfortable. I kept guys off balance. The guys put up some runs for me today and we got the win."
Albert Pujols homered and Mike Trout added an RBI double for the Angels, who have won seven of their last nine contests.
Jason Kubel had a pair of hits for the Diamondbacks, who dropped the final two games of this series. Ian Kennedy (5-7) allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and did not walk a batter, but has lost seven of his last nine decisions.
After Arizona stranded runners on base in each of its first four at-bats, the Angels finally opened the scoring in the home half of the fourth when Pujols waited back on a changeup from Kennedy and deposited it just clear of the wall in center field for his 10th long ball of the season.
The Angels added a huge second run in the bottom of the seventh inning with a little help from mother nature. Erick Aybar started the inning by lifting a seemingly simple fly ball to right, but Justin Upton lost the ball in the sun and it bounced directly on the right field line and into the stands for a ground-rule double. Peter Bourjos sent a grounder to third two batters later which resulted in Aybar being tagged out in a rundown, but the Los Angeles center fielder was able to get into scoring position on the play.
Trout then came up huge with two outs as he laced a double down the left field line to bring home Borjous for the 2-0 margin.
Willie Bloomquist smoked a single up the middle with two outs in the eighth and Kubel followed with a base hit to put runners on the corners for Upton, but Richards got him to foul out to first, ending the inning.
After Richards walked Montero, Frieri came out of the bullpen and retired Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Young and Aaron Hill to close out the victory.
"It was a great performance by Kennedy," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have to be more consistent, we're struggling offensively. It's frustrating, but tomorrow is a new day."
Arizona finished its six-game road trip with a 2-4 mark...It was just Richards' sixth career major league start..The D-Backs fell to 7-5 in interleague play this season and were shut out for the second consecutive time...It was Pujols' 455th career home run...Arizona went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven men on base.