Smyly eyes third straight win against Angels

( - Drew Smyly hopes to record a third straight winning start on Friday evening when the Detroit Tigers play the second contest of their four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The left-handed Smyly is coming off a 5-1 win over Cleveland on Sunday. He yielded one run, which came on a solo homer, and scattered another three hits and two walks. He also struck out six in seven innings.

The victory improved Smyly to 6-8 with a 3.80 earned run average on the season and his innings-eating effort came one day after the Tigers had been swept in a doubleheader by the Indians.

"I think Smyly's performance probably stands out. (He) kind of gave us really what we needed, going seven innings, having played three games the last two days, holding them to one run," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

Smyly, 25, is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four career meetings with the Angels, including two starts. He picked up that loss on April 18, giving up four runs in just three innings of work.

Getting the call for the Angels will be Tyler Skaggs, who has been bailed out by his offense in going 1-0 in his last two starts despite allowing 11 runs total in those games.

The 23-year-old southpaw took a no-decision versus Seattle on Sunday, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings of a game his club won 6-5.

The Angels have scored 16 runs in Skaggs' last two games after plating only 11 during his 0-4 drought through five starts from May 26-July 8.

Skaggs is 5-5 with a 4.65 ERA on the year, but just 1-2 with a 5.69 ERA in eight starts at home. He faces Detroit for the first time.

In a matchup highlighted by a pair of then 11-game winners, Max Scherzer and the Tigers got the better of Garrett Richards and the Angels in Thursday's 6-4 win.

Scherzer struck out 11 over seven innings and needed a late rally to earn the victory after giving up three runs on six hits.

"Richards is a great pitcher, I had to bring my 'A' game," Scherzer said. "They got to me in the fifth, but I was able to limit the damage. Our team battled back with a three-spot and that was huge. I was able to go out there in the sixth and seventh, and everything went well."

Nick Castellanos hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth, and Ian Kinsler knocked in a pair for the AL Central-leading Tigers, winners in four of their last five. That has their edge over second-place Kansas City at seven games.

A string of nine consecutive quality starts for Richards came to an end, with the emerging right-hander yielding four runs on seven hits over six innings. Since failing to make it out of the first inning against Oakland on May 30, Richards was 7-0 with a 1.25 ERA.

"Garrett got some pitches in the zone and their guys caught up to them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "On the offensive end against Scherzer, we did a good job. We had opportunities, but the sixth inning was tough."

Kole Calhoun went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Angels, who have dropped four of their last six and are three games behind Oakland for first place in the AL West.

The Angels claimed all six meetings with the Tigers a season ago before Detroit won two of three at home in late April.