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LAA@LAD: Richards pitches first career shutout

It took 18 innings, but someone finally figured out Garrett Richards.

After six no-hit innings Saturday against the Red Sox, Boston broke through in the seventh inning against Richards for three runs, snapping the 26-year-old's 18-inning scoreless streak.

Dustin Pedroia spoiled the no-hit bid with a leadoff single and two Red Sox hits and two Angels errors later, the inning had snowballed, turning a potential landmark start into simply a 6 1/3-inning, three-run outing.

"Even after the three-run inning, it's a great performance," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Richards' start against the Red Sox followed his first career shutout of the Dodgers on Aug. 4. In his last seven starts, Richards has a 1.95 ERA; since the start of June, 1.74.

Friday's start will be Richards' fourth of the season against the Rangers. He is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings against the American League West rivals.

Richards' last start of the first half was in Arlington, where he allowed only five hits in seven shutout innings while striking out eight. He has averaged 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings against the Rangers this season.

Texas will counter with right-handed rookie Nick Martinez, whose best performance of the season came against the Angels in late June. On June 21, Martinez opened the game with five perfect innings against the Halos and finished seven innings while allowing just two runs on three hits and a walk.

"It's a tough Angels lineup," Martinez said. "I just have to execute pitches. Commanding my fastball is very key vs. this lineup."

Martinez is 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list with a with a strained rib cage muscle.

"He just needs to compete," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If you took Nick Martinez to the Minor Leagues, he would dominate. He's making strides, it's just hard to see it up here. Up here it's results-oriented. It's all about numbers. He just has to figure it out. He's got the pitches, he has to learn how to use them, learn how to use them in certain situations and learn to use them on the fly."

Angels: Morin to potentially face Rangers Saturday
Injured Angels reliever Mike Morin made a rehab appearance Thursday night for Class A Advanced Inland Empire.

Morin is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday at Texas after recovering from a left foot laceration sustained while walking on a Florida beach. He last pitched on July 31 and has a 2.36 ERA this season.

Both infielder Grant Green (lumbar strain) and pitcher Joe Thatcher (left ankle sprain) will continue their treatment and recovery in Arizona when the Angels embark on a 10-game road trip.

Rangers: Ex-teammate Hamilton still dangerous
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is hitting .370 against his former team, but Hamilton enters this three-game series against the Rangers hitting just .215 since the All-Star break.

The Rangers know all too well that Hamilton is capable of doing damage this weekend. He was 7-for-17 with five runs scored when the Angels swept four games against the Rangers from July 10-13. The Angels hit .345 with 33 runs scored in those four games.

"They've slowed down a little bit but they've still got a deep lineup," Washington said. "Hamilton will find a way to knock out some hits when he's out there against us."

Worth noting
• The Angels have won nine straight against Texas by a combined score of 53-22. The franchise record for consecutive wins over the Rangers is nine.

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