American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, July 24
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (56-42) at LA Angels of Anaheim (60-40), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Max Scherzer (11-3, 3.34)
LA Angels - Garrett Richards (11-2, 2.47)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Garrett Richards faced off against one of the best
pitchers in baseball last time out and didn't flinch.
Richards squares off against another top hurler on Thursday night when the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim open a four-game series with Max Scherzer and the
The right-handed Richards has been a force this season, going 11-2 with a 2.47
earned run average. He is unbeaten in nine straight appearances, winning seven
decisions and allowing more than two runs just once in that span.
He drew the starting assignment opposite Seattle's Felix Hernandez on Saturday
and kept his club in an eventual 3-2 setback in extra innings, yielding one
run on three hits and a walk over eight innings with seven strikeouts.
"It's good to see our guys throw the ball as well as they did," Angels manager
Mike Scioscia said on his team's website. "I thought Garrett did a tremendous
job to match Felix Hernandez pitch-for-pitch and we definitely had our
opportunities. We just couldn't push one across to get the win."
The 26-year-old Richards is 2-1 with a save and 2.70 ERA in seven previous
meetings with Detroit, including two starts, and faces another 11-game winner
tonight in Scherzer.
The right-handed Scherzer is 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA in his last five starts,
though he did not factor into a 5-2 loss to Cleveland on Saturday. He was
almost scratched from the start due to a neck issue, but ended up logging 5
2/3 decent innings and getting charged with two runs on six hits and four
Scherzer, who turns 30 on Sunday, is 11-3 with a 3.34 ERA on the season and
picked up a home victory over the Angels back on April 19. He scattered a run
and fanned nine over seven innings, moving to 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA in five
starts against them.
The Tigers lead the AL Central by 6 1/2 games over Cleveland for first place
in the AL Central and picked up a series win over Arizona on Wednesday with an
Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer and Austin Jackson added a three-run
double in the club's third victory in four games.
"Give the Diamondbacks credit. They kept clawing their way back in it," said
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. "It wasn't until Miggy's homer (in the eighth
inning) that we put it away."
Hours after the game, the division leaders got help for the back end of
their bullpen by acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers in
exchange for pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson. Despite the
move, Joe Nathan, who has a 5.89 ERA this season, is expected to remain
Soria will be counted on the get the ball to Nathan in the final inning after
notching 17 saves and recording a 2.70 ERA in 35 games with the Rangers.
The Angels, meanwhile, avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the
Baltimore Orioles with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday.
Erick Aybar doubled home Josh Hamilton in the eighth inning to tie the game
and Kole Calhoun worked a bases-loaded walk later in the frame to force in the
The Angels won for the 15th time in their last 19 at home despite leaving 11
men on base and going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Jered Weaver gave up six hits and a pair of runs, striking out six in eight
"My fastball command was pretty good tonight. It sets up everything else,"
Weaver said. "I feel like I'm getting stronger."
Huston Street, who was acquired from San Diego Friday night, pitched the ninth
for his first save in an Angels uniform and kept the team two games behind
division-leading Oakland in the AL West.
The Angels won all six meetings with the Tigers a season ago before Detroit
won two of three at home in late April.
07/24 10:54:31 ET