Angels-White Sox Preview

STATS Writer
The Associated Press

Garrett Richards would have liked to take the mound one final time in June, but the weather made that impossible.

After compiling the lowest ERA in the AL last month, Richards looks to win a fifth straight decision as the visiting Los Angeles Angels start a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox with a traditional, single-admission doubleheader Tuesday.

Heavy rain postponed the opener of this set and kept Richards (8-2, 2.76 ERA) from adding to his 4-0 record and 1.05 ERA in five starts in June. Opponents batted .161 against Richards last month.

He gave up two runs over 7 1-3 innings of a 6-2 home win over Minnesota on Wednesday. Richards insists he's not thinking about whether he'll be selected as an All-Star for the first time.

"I would love to be there, but that's out of my control," Richards told MLB's official website. "There have been guys who have put up good numbers and haven't made the All-Star team. I'm not really swallowed up in it."

The right-hander has never started against the White Sox, posting a 7.50 ERA in six relief appearances against them.

He'll get his first look at the red-hot Jose Abreu, who is batting .351 with six homers and 13 RBIs during a career-best 14-game hitting streak. Abreu is tied for the major league lead with 25 home runs.

Los Angeles (45-35) swept three games at home from Chicago from June 6-8 behind Josh Hamilton, who went 7 for 12 with four RBIs.

The Angels are looking to regroup after starting this six-game trip by losing two of three to Kansas City over the weekend, falling 5-4 on Sunday.

They're in the midst of playing 20 games in 20 days, winning four of the first six.

"At some point you're going to have to play the stretch like we're in now, 20 straight, and you want to play (every day)," Scioscia said. "A doubleheader does not benefit anyone at any time."

Scioscia gives the ball to Jered Weaver (8-6, 3.33) in the nightcap, and he's 8-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 11 career starts against the White Sox, winning four of five meetings in Chicago.

The right-hander, visiting U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since a win April 15, 2011, has gone 1-0 while allowing two runs in 15 innings in his last two starts. Both outings, however, came at home and he's lost his last two on the road with a 6.75 ERA.

Prior to Monday's rainout, Albert Pujols was scheduled to start at first after struggling to run the bases Sunday due to a swollen lymph gland near his groin.

Chicago (39-44) begins a six-game homestand after capping a 4-6 trip Sunday with a 4-0 win over Toronto, taking the final three games of a four-game set. The White Sox, who won a season-high four straight May 4-7, bounced back after beginning the road swing with five defeats.

"It was not a fun start," manager Robin Ventura told MLB's official website. "I think that's just part of baseball. When you play this many games you go through tough stretches, and it's good to get a win like this on our way home."

Journeyman Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.07) gets the nod in the opener, making his 12th start for Chicago after also pitching for Seattle and Texas this year. He is 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA as a starter in 2014.

The right-hander owns a 7.65 ERA in six career appearances against the Angels, including two starts in 2012 with the Mariners.

Mike Trout is 4 for 9 against Noesi, who has limited Pujols to a single in nine at-bats.

Pujols homered for his only hit in two at-bats against Scott Carroll (2-4, 4.76). The home run to the nine-time All-Star was the only run Carroll allowed in 4 1-3 innings of relief in an 8-4 defeat to Los Angeles on June 6.

The rookie right-hander returned to the rotation Thursday and was pounded for five runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-0 loss at Toronto. He's gone 0-4 with an 8.25 ERA in five starts since beating Tampa Bay 9-2 in his major league debut April 27.

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