Jul 11, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Angels shut out the Rangers 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
By their calm demeanor, the Los Angeles Angels didn’t seem fazed by Baltimore’s sixth-inning go-ahead run.
After all, the Halos led the majors in comeback victories heading into last night’s rubber match with the AL East leaders. When it was all said and done, they had their 31st come-from-behind win while avoiding their first series sweep since Opening Week.
Trailing 2-1 entering the eighth, Josh Hamilton led off with a blooper to right fielder Nick Markakis. He scored from first on Erick Aybar’s ensuing double down the left-center field gap to tie things up. After Orioles Tommy Hunter struck out the next two batters, the reliever walked Efren Navarro to load the bases.
Kole Calhoun’s 27th RBI of the season couldn’t have come any easier. Hunter walked the Angels’ leadoff hitter on five pitcher and handed the Halos a 3-2 lead. The Angels’ newest arm handled things from there.
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Jered Weaver allowed two runs through eight innings without allowing a walk. It was Weaver’s (11-6) longest outing since he tossed eight frames in Texas on June 21.
The Angels now go from facing one division leader to another.
Detroit makes their only visit to Angel Stadium having won three of their last four contests, including an 11-5 win over Arizona last night. Their 6.5 game lead is the biggest among first place teams.
Garrett Richards has fewer losses than Max Scherzer, a lower ERA, and has arguable been the Angels’ ace, yet Detroit’s right-hander received an All-Star nod and Richards didn’t.
Still, Richards has been a saving grace. He’s won seven straight decisions, dating back to June 4, and pitched into the seventh inning or later in each of his last five outings.
Last Saturday, the young righty buried Seattle, scattering three hits on one run while striking out seven. Richards didn’t get a decision but proved that his stellar first half wasn’t a fluke. Over the past two seasons, he’s held the Tigers scoreless through 14 frames; allowing five hits in each of his two victories.
Like Richards, Scherzer comes into Anaheim on a roll. He’s 2-0 with a 1.23 over the last three road starts. Scherzer overcame back spasms in tossing 5 2/3 innings against Cleveland last Saturday, a 5-2 Indians win.
The perennial All-Star’s success against the Angels is much better. He’s 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA in five appearances. In 2012-his only “Big A” outing- Scherzer struck out nine through eight innings but didn’t receive a decision.
- The Angels have won six in a row against Detroit at Angel Stadium, outscoring them 34-9.
- Only Hamilton, Mike Trout, and Howie Kendrick have RBIs off of Scherzer.
- Trout is hitting .356 with four home runs over his last 10 games.
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