Richards aims for another strong start when Angels host Royals

Garrett Richards tries to follow up a terrific showing his last time out when he goes for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the second test of a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals at Angels Stadium.

Richards scattered three hits with four walks over seven scoreless innings to beat the Detroit Tigers last Tuesday to run his record to 3-1 on the year, while lowering his ERA to 3.53.

"(Last Tuesday) was one of those special nights," Richards told his team's official website. "I had everything working. I had the curveball, slider was good, glove-side fastball was good, and my sinker was on tonight. When you put all those together and you command the zone, you're going to have a good night."

Richards, who has never faced the Royals, has been so impressive for the Angels that manager Mike Scioscia decided to stick with him and move Jerome Williams to the bullpen upon Dan Haren's return from the disabled list.

"Garrett's not a finished product, but he has that electric arm," Scioscia said.

Kansas City will counter with a youngster of its own 23-year-old lefty Will Smith, who was roughed up in his return to the big leagues on Thursday. Smith was recalled from Triple-A to face Seattle on Thursday and was hit for four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He is 1-3 this season with a 7.97 ERA.

Smith will try to slow down an Angels team that has won three of four after taking Monday's opener, 6-3.

Kendrys Morales' bases-clearing, single in the eighth was the difference in that one, while Mike Trout had a pair of hits and scored a run, extending his American League rookie-record scoring streak to 15 games.

The AL record is 18 games, set by Red Rolfe (1939) and Kenny Lofton (2000).

C.J. Wilson pitched 6 2/3 solid innings in no decision for the Angels. He allowed three runs on nine hits, striking out six and walking one. Kevin Jepsen (1-1) earned the win after tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

"Tonight, I gave up three runs. I'm upset about that," Wilson said. "I'm upset about giving up as many hits as I did. So that's under my control. If I lose 2-1, then I can be frustrated. But if you get a no-decision because you're giving up three runs, that's your fault."

Kansas City starter Bruce Chen, who allowed 22 runs in 19 innings across four July starts coming into Monday, gave up three runs in just 5 1/3 and was let off the hook with a no decision. Greg Holland (4-3) took the loss after the Angels lit him up for three runs in their decisive eighth inning.

Eric Hosmer had a pair of hits and scored twice for the Royals, who have dropped eight of 11 since the All-Star break.

The Angels took two of three from the Royals back in April and have won 10 of the last 13 in the series.