Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Garrett Richards pitched seven scoreless innings to help the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 win over the Texas Rangers in the second contest of a four-game series.
Richards (11-2) scattered five hits -- all singles -- and two walks, and struck out eight in the Angels' first shutout at Texas since Sept. 18, 2009. The right-hander has won his last five starts and owns a 1.77 ERA with 40 strikeouts over that span.
"Garrett has perspective and he has focus," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's an All-Star in our minds and we hope he can pick it right back up after the break."
Richards was nominated for the Final Vote in the American League that was ultimately won by Chicago's Chris Sale.
"He pitched a very, very good game for us out there tonight," Scioscia added.
Mike Trout homered, while Erick Aybar and David Freese each knocked in a run for the Angels, who have won eight of nine.
Nick Tepesch (3-5) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits over six-plus innings on the hill.
Texas has dropped 20 of its last 23 games.
Tepesch retired the first 10 batters he faced before Trout deposited his 22nd homer of the season over the wall in left-center to open the scoring in the fourth.
Richards and Tepesch continued to duel until the seventh, when Los Angeles gave its young hurler some breathing room. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton opened the inning with singles which preceded Aybar's run-scoring knock to give LA a 2-0 lead.
Neftali Feliz would come on in relief of Tepesch and get Howie Kendrick to line out to right for the first out of the inning. Feliz couldn't keep it a two-run game, though, as Freese stepped in and ripped an RBI single back up the box for a 3-0 advantage.
C.J. Cron grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Kevin Jepsen pitched the eighth and Joe Smith hurled a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save of the season.