A familiar face greeted the Angels ahead of last night’s game. Garrett Richards, assisted by a crutch in each arm, hobbled to take team photos less than a week after undergoing season-ending knee surgery.
Richards-who tore his left patellar tendon on Aug. 20- may have inspired Angels ace Jered Weaver to outpitch Jon Lester in a 4-0 Angels victory. Weaver tossed seven shutout innings, striking out three and walking three. The right-hander is 8-1 over his last 14 starts.
The Angels took the first two in a four-game Labor Day weekend series with their division rival. Manager Mike Scioscia knew Weaver and C.J. Wilson would take the mound Thursday and Friday, but Saturday’s starter was a question mark. Until now.
Cory Rasmus makes his first Major League start despite never throwing more than 51 pitches in an appearance. He reached the career high last Monday against Miami, allowing a run over 2 2/3 innings.
Scioscia’s reasoning may coincide with Weaver’s solid outing. Joe Smith and Huston Street each pitched an inning while the rest of the bullpen took the night off. All Scioscia need from Rasmus is five consistent innings.
Rasmus is 1-0 in five appearances against the A’s. He threw a scoreless inning at O.co Coliseum last weekend and lowered his lifetime ERA to 2.70 against the division rival.
Jeff Samardzija will try and break Oakland out of their slump in his first-ever start at Angel Stadium. He notched 10 strikeouts versus Houston on Monday and earned his first win since Aug. 9.
Samardzija’s only prior meeting with Angels came last year while still in Chicago’s north side. The righty was hammered for nine runs over 4 2/3 innings, highlighted by Josh Hamilton’s two home runs.
- Albert Pujols hit his 516th career home run last night.
- Five of eight games between the teams at Angel Stadium have been decided by one run.
- Pujols is 4-for-10 with three home runs and eight RBIs lifetime against Samardzija
TV: 6:05 p.m. PST, Fox Sports West, CSNCA
Radio: KLAA 830, 95.7 FM The Game