Angels-Indians Preview

Struggling to keep up in the playoff race, the Los Angeles Angels are looking to begin a reversal with another win against Corey Kluber.

Doing it away from home, however, could prove to be considerably more difficult.

The Angels attempt to solve their road issues Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians.

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Los Angeles (65-63) has lost six of eight to fall 1 1/2 games behind Texas for the second wild-card spot. The Angels' futility away from Anaheim has been a major problem, as they've dropped 14 of 17 such games following a 3-1 loss to open the three-game series Friday.

Stopping that trend should be a challenge against Kluber (8-13, 3.43 ERA), who is 0-2 while allowing nine runs and 18 hits in 10 1-3 innings in two starts - both on the road - against Los Angeles. The right-hander was staked to a three-run lead before taking the mound against the Angels on Aug. 3, but gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-4 defeat.

Kluber, though, has allowed one run in three of his last four starts - two of them complete-game wins. Plus, his last two home outings were complete-game victories and he's gone 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his last five at Progressive Field.

He was terrific away from Cleveland on Monday, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning before yielding one run and leaving after 7 2-3 in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. He didn't get the decision.

"There was absolutely zero wiggle room, and he just went toe to toe and pitched about as good as you can," manager Terry Francona told MLB's official website. "He executed pitches all day."

The Indians' Garrett Richards (12-10, 3.80) will try for the second time to match his career high in wins, set last year. The right-hander was pounded for nine runs and 10 hits - two homers - in five-plus innings of a 12-5 loss to Toronto on Sunday.

He had completed at least six innings in his seven previous outings and his 154 lead the team. That total is 14 2-3 shy of his career high from last season, which ended after 26 starts due to left knee surgery.

"I haven't really had any time off, but I'm doing my best to maintain what I have now and try to hopefully have that last bit to get through the end," Richards said. "This offseason will obviously be nice to be able to relax a little bit, but we're right in the middle of it. You don't play this whole season to not make the playoffs."

Richards allowed four runs with 11 strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings opposite Kluber in his only career meeting with the Indians on Aug. 3.

Mike Trout is hitting .200 over 13 games after going 0 for 2 with two walks Friday. He's 1 for 13 in four matchups with Cleveland this year, going 1 for 3 against Kluber.

Trout hasn't homered in 20 games, the longest drought of his career.

The Indians' Jason Kipnis, the league leader with a .324 average, has gone 6 for 13 with one homer, three doubles and six RBIs in the past three games. His RBI single capped a three-run seventh Friday.

He's batted .189 in 25 meetings with the Angels. Kipnis has never faced Richards.