American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 11 (All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (54-37) at Texas Rangers (38-54), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Garrett Richards (10-2, 2.71) Texas - Nick Tepesch (3-4, 4.29)
(SportsNetwork.com) - No All-Star Game, no problem for Garrett Richards.
Though he was left off the list of initial selections for the Midsummer Classic, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim right-hander will get a chance to continue a breakout 2014 on Friday night when he faces the Texas Rangers in the second game of a four-game series at Globe Life Park.
Richards has 10 wins, a 2.71 earned run average, 119 strikeouts and an opposition batting average of .196 -- all among the leaders in the American League -- but was nonetheless not called when selections for the game were made public on Tuesday.
He could land a spot as a replacement, if the need arises.
"There's still a chance, and it's an honor just to be considered," Richards said. "If it happens, it happens. But I'm more concerned with the second half of the season, to be honest. I'll take a World Series over an All-Star game any day."
He's unbeaten in his last seven starts, winning six decisions while maintaining a 1.45 ERA during that stretch while also striking out 55 batters in 49 2/3 innings and holding foes to a .158 average.
His last start on Sunday was a 6-1 defeat of Houston in which he struck out a career-best 11.
"I think the sky's the limit for Garrett," pitching coach Mike Butcher said. "You look at the stuff, and he's got undeniable stuff -- a mid-90s fastball that cuts and sinks, a power slider that has great depth to it, good action and commands it in the zone very well. He's got one of the better curveballs in the game and a changeup that is still developing -- but he's getting a feel for that, too."
A run of four wins in four starts began with a 7-3 defeat of Texas on June 20 and the Angels have won 16 of their last 20 overall.
It's the flip side, almost literally, for the Rangers, who are 3-19 in their last 22 games and have a worse record at this point in the season than in any year since 2003.
"That you don't stop fighting. You don't give in to adversity. The game of baseball is full of it. You don't give in to it," manager Ron Washington said. "The only people that can make a change and make a difference is my guys."
Nick Tepesch becomes the latest with a chance to stop the bleeding when he follows up on a Sunday start against the New York Mets in which he gave up six runs in six innings of an 8-4 loss.
He's 1-3 in his last five starts, throwing 13 2/3 innings in the win and no- decision, while being hammered for a 7.71 ERA in the three losses.
On Thursday, Mike Trout smacked a three-run homer among his four hits, four RBI and three runs scored as the Angels pounded the Rangers, 15-6.
Kole Calhoun posted four hits, four runs scored and an RBI, while Josh Hamilton went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored for the Angels.
Hector Santiago (1-7) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and a walk while striking out eight over six innings to notch the win.
Colby Lewis (6-6) surrendered 13 runs -- 11 earned -- on 13 hits over just 2 1/3 frames for Texas.
Adrian Beltre homered in defeat.
07/11 10:49:02 ET