ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After eight innings of dominance, Garrett Richards tried to play it cool in the dugout when Angels manager Mike Scioscia asked him if he felt good enough to finish.
Not too cool, though.
“Without being disrespectful, I guess you could say, I wanted the ball,” Richards said.
Richards pitched a two-hitter for his second career shutout, Kole Calhoun hit two homers and Los Angeles beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 Saturday night for its 13th victory in 16 games.
Richards (10-6) allowed just three baserunners and retired Boston’s final 15 hitters in order to wrap up the second straight shutout victory for the Angels, who increased their AL West lead to a season-best 1 1/2 games.
Richards allowed just one Boston runner to reach third base, retiring 22 of 23 overall to end a tidy evening for the rangy right-hander rediscovering his best form.
“I don’t feel like I get tired out there,” said Richards, who threw 113 pitches. “I pride myself on being able to finish as strong as I start. I guess for whatever reason, my arm strength or whatever, it’s just part of my game. … The fact that I went nine (innings), just happened to be getting ahead in the count early and guys putting the ball in play early, also.”
Pablo Sandoval had both hits for the Red Sox, who have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 7-8, 2009.
Calhoun, who had three hits, led off the third and fifth innings with long homers into the elevated right-field stands off Rick Porcello (5-10).
Calhoun’s first career multi-homer game eliminated the need for another walk-off homer by All-Star Game MVP Mike Trout, who ended the four-game series opener in dramatic fashion Friday. Trout went 0 for 4, striking out twice and grounding into a double play.
“We definitely have some superstars on this team, but we’re not going to have them do it every night,” said Calhoun, who has 12 homers. “It’s been a good month for us so far, and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
Sandoval’s infield single and ground-rule double were the extent of the offense for the last-place Red Sox, who have lost four of five spanning the break. Boston had five hits while losing the series opener 1-0 Friday.
Porcello yielded just four hits and two earned runs in five innings, but lost his fifth straight road decision.
“We were in some tough spots, but we were able to pitch out of it and limit some damage,” Porcello said. “So to me, that’s the biggest emphasis moving forward: limiting those big innings.”
Sandoval doubled in the fifth and advanced on a groundout to become the only Boston baserunner to reach third base in the series, but Richards stranded him.
“The guy pitched well,” David Ortiz said of Richards. “He was effectively wild. He just threw any pitch in any situation.”
The Angels scored a run without a hit in the second inning. David Freese reached on a grounder and advanced on another grounder and a walk before scoring on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Porcello.
Batting practice was canceled while a drizzling rain hit Orange County for most of the afternoon. The tarp stayed on the field until less than an hour before game time — an extremely rare occurrence in sunny Southern California.
Red Sox: They addressed their bullpen depth by recalling right-hander Noe Ramirez from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game, giving them eight relievers.
Angels: Closer Huston Street said he was ready to pitch Saturday after mildly straining his groin last week. Eighth-inning specialist Joe Smith also said he was ready to pitch after taking a liner off his leg Friday.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (5-2, 3.59 ERA), the 22-year-old Venezuelan lefty, has given up just four runs in 17 1-3 innings over his last three starts.
Angels: Stingy All-Star lefty Hector Santiago (6-4, 2.33 ERA) looks for his first career win over Boston.
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