(SportsNetwork.com) - Garrett Richards aims for a more solid showing in his second start of the season Friday, when the LA Angels of Anaheim begin a three-game series versus the Texas Rangers at the Big A.
Richards, who started the season on the disabled list after rupturing the patellar tendon in his left knee last August, was dealt the loss in a 4-3 defeat at Houston on Sunday. He allowed four runs -- three earned -- and five hits in five innings.
The promising right-hander, who walked four and struck out four batters against the Astros, will make his first home start since Aug. 9, 2014. Richards has faced Texas 14 times (10 starts) in his career, going 6-1 with a 3.43 ERA.
Anaheim split a four-game set versus the Oakland Athletics to begin a seven- game homestand and posted a 2-0 win on Thursday. Kole Calhoun had the only hit of the game for the Halos, but it was a big one. He cracked a two-run homer off Jesse Chavez in the bottom of the third inning.
"It was a pitch up and I put a good swing on it. With Nick (Tropeano) throwing like he did, we didn't need many runs," Calhoun said.
Tropeano, who was acquired by the Angels when they sent catcher Hank Conger to the Astros, was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake when Matt Shoemaker was placed on the bereavement list. He threw six shutout innings, scattered five hits, struck out five and walked one batter in his Angels debut.
"I felt good, I approached today like any other start," Tropeano said. "All four of my pitches worked. Drew (Butera) called a great game. I had good fastball command and that made all the other pitches better."
Fernando Salas, Joe Smith and Huston Street each pitched a scoreless inning of relief and Street notched his fifth save.
The Rangers are 2-3 on an eight-game, 10-day road trip and split a quick set with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. They won the opener, 7-1, on Tuesday and dropped an 8-5 decision the following night.
A four-run ninth inning wasn't enough for Texas, as Adrian Beltre homered and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo fell to 2-2 after he surrendered five runs, three of which were earned, and six hits in five innings.
Gallardo was 8-0 in 12 career starts against the D-backs prior to Wednesday's loss. The highlight of this start was breaking up Archie Bradley's no-hit bid with a single in the fifth inning.
"We didn't get a hit and put a ball in play," Texas manager Jeff Banister said.
Banister hopes the bats come alive when Wandy Rodriguez makes his Texas debut on the mound Friday. Rodriguez was 0-2 with a 6.75 earned run average in six starts with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season and was picked up by Texas this spring after the Atlanta Braves released him.
"The velocity is 88 to 91 mph, the breaking ball is there, and the changeup is there," Banister said of Rodriguez. "The pitch-ability is still there. It's very similar to the guy I've seen in the past as far as the reports. He competes."
The left-hander allowed two runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks over seven innings (two starts) for Triple-A Round Rock this season. Rodriguez has made one career start against the Angels.
Texas lost two of three games to the Angels in Arlington from April 13-15. The Angels have won 15 of the last 19 meetings between the AL West foes.