Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim righty Garrett Richards did an admirable job filling in for the injured Jered Weaver. Now he steps in for Jerome Williams when the Angels close out the three-game Freeway Series against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium
Richards has made the most of his three starts with the Angels, going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in those outings. He beat the Arizona Diamondbacks last Sunday, holding them to just four hits over eight scoreless innings.
When Weaver returned on Wednesday it was believed that Richards would be out of the rotation. However, Williams was placed on the 15-day disabled list that same day with breathing problems, giving Richards another opportunity to show that he belongs.
"Like I said before, I'm up here to take advantage of my opportunities," Richards said. "I feel that I'm ready to stick here and help these guys win, and when I'm called upon, I'm going to go out there and try to give us the best chance to win a ballgame. I'm just going to keep plugging away and look forward to my next start."
Richards also pitched well against the Dodgers two starts ago, as he allowed one earned run over five innings. He did walk five batters in that one, though, and did not get a decision in his team's 3-2 win.
The Dodgers will counter with veteran Aaron Harang, who is 5-4 with a 3.76 ERA. Harang absorbed the loss on Tuesday in Oakland, as the A's reached him for three runs and three hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He also walked a career- high eight batters in the loss, but after watching video of the game may have found a flaw in his mechanics.
"It's all about timing and we worked on it in the bullpen [Thursday]," Harang said. "If I don't split my hands properly, my arm is late and my pitches are high, above the strike zone."
Harang gave up two unearned runs in a no-decision against the Angels back on June 12 and is 0-1 in two starts versus the Halos with a 4.15 ERA.
On Saturday, Chris Capuano was again stingy on the mound and Dee Gordon served as the offensive catalyst in the Dodgers' 3-1 win.
Capuano (9-2) lowered his ERA to 2.60 by limiting the Angels to one run on seven hits in seven innings of work.
"Chris was really good. He's been like this almost every time out," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Gordon, whose batting average was .220 coming in, went 2-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base and two runs scored to help snap the Dodgers' four-game slide.
Ervin Santana (4-8), coming off a one-hit shutout of the Diamondbacks last Saturday, struck out 10 over eight innings but allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits to take the loss.
The Angels, who lost for the first time in five tries, had their leadoff hitter reach base six times, but went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Angels took two of three from the Dodgers earlier in the year.