Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards waits as Baltimore's Xavier… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
After arguably his worst night as a major league pitcher, Garrett Richards was optioned to triple-A Salt Lake City on Thursday night.
Richards gave up 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innins the Baltimore Orioles, needing help from the bullpen and an offensive outburst from his teammates to avoid his second loss of the season.
"Garrett's starts have been a little short recently," Manager Mike Scioscia said after the Angels' 9-7, come-from-behind victory. "It became apparent tonight that we needed another arm this weekend."
Scioscia said Richards will start at least one triple-A game and could be back with the club soon. But with Dan Haren and Jerome Williams expected to return following the All-Star break, it's possible Richards might have to wait.
Garrett's problems tend to start early in games. In the first and second innings this season, he posted a 7.50 earned-run average heading into Thursday’s contest. After the second inning, he tends to settle down, with an ERA of 2.59.
Against the Orioles, he wasn’t able to follow that trend. In the fourth inning, Richards surrendered three runs before being pulled. The bullpen cleaned up the mess -- five of them combined for 4 2/3 shutout innings -- and the Angels scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead for good.
The Angels are now down to two quality starters in Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, who have combined to go 18-5 with a 2.24 ERA.
After Richards cleaned out his locker and chatted with pitching coach Mike Butcher as well as a number of other pitchers, Richards vowed he’d be back.
“I know I belong here, I have to start playing better,” Richards said. “I’m not discouraged, I’m motivated. It’s back to work.”
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