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KC@LAA: Richards goes seven strong with seven K's

Angels righty Garrett Richards' ERA is a little deceiving at first glance. A 3.65 ERA is nothing to sneeze at, but it is considerably skewed after his last outing, a major meltdown against the A's on Friday.

Richards recorded only two outs, gave up a grand slam to Brandon Moss, loaded the bases two separate times and exited immediately after walking Coco Crisp to give Oakland an early five-run lead as the Angels fell, 9-5. Prior to that start, Richards had a 3.00 ERA.

"It's embarrassing. I didn't show up for us tonight, and I didn't give us a chance to win, and I put us in a hole early," Richards said after the start. "It's just like anything else in this game. It's a learning experience. I'm going to stay positive. I've had a [heck] of a year so far, and I can't let one outing ruin my progress."

Richards will look to bounce back from the ugly outing when he and the Angels take on the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday. Houston, however, has had decent success against Richards, who has allowed six runs in 12 innings while striking out eight and walking seven in his two starts against the Astros this season.

The Astros will counter with righty Jarred Cosart, who has struggled to keep runners off the basepaths all season. He averages 4.5 walks per nine innings and has a 4.18 ERA.

Yet, since he gave up seven runs in one-third of an inning April 18 at Oakland, Cosart has posted a 2.79 ERA and has five quality starts in his last seven outings. He surrendered one earned run on four hits in five innings in his last start, May 28 at Kansas City.

"I think it's definitely something that he's worked on," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Cosart's high walk rate. "I don't think it's something that he needs to press about. I think it's more about fastball command than anything. I believe that as time goes on and he continues to mature as a pitcher that his walks are going to go down."

The Angels, meanwhile, were looking forward to finally getting their lineup back at full strength with the return of Josh Hamilton from an eight-week absence on Tuesday. That changed when Mike Trout, who had sat out the previous two games with discomfort in his back, exited the game in the second inning for the same reason.

"It's the same thing I've been feeling for a couple of days and I didn't want to push it," said Trout, who will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

Astros: Springer recognized, now it's Singleton's turn
George Springer destroyed any doubts over his ability following a slow start in April by mashing in the month of May. He earned American League Rookie of the Month Award by hitting .294 with 10 homers, 25 RBIs and a 1.032 OPS in May.

"It's awesome. It's obviously something special," Springer said. "I want to say thank you to my teammates. That's not possible without them."

Springer gained a new teammate on Tuesday in Jon Singleton, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Singleton, Houston's No. 3 ranked prospect, hit .267 with 14 homers and 43 RBIs and a .941 OPS in 54 games. He made his Major League debut Tuesday against Los Angeles and picked up his first Major League hit and home run with a solo shot in the eighth inning. He also walked and committed two errors at first.

Angels: Bedrosian takes fast track to The Show
No. 13 prospect Cam Bedrosian made quite a progression in the past two months, which started at Class A Advanced and culminated with his Major League debut on Tuesday.

"This has happened really quickly," said Bedrosian, son of Steve Bedrosian, who won the 1987 National League Cy Young Award as a member of the Phillies. "I didn't expect this at all."

Bedrosian tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout in Tuesday's loss to the Angels. He posted a 1.22 ERA while striking out 45 in 24 innings for Class A Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas.

Worth noting
• Hamilton extended his hitting streak at Minute Maid Park to 12 games with a solo homer in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game. He's hitting .463 (19-for-41) with five homers and 11 RBIs in that stretch.

• Including Tuesday's loss, the Angels are 11-6 in their last 17 games against the Astros and have won seven of their last 10 games at Minute Maid Park, allowing just 10 runs in the seven victories.

• With Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Angels, the Astros are 14-8 (.636) since May 11, the second best winning percentage in that span among AL West teams, behind the A's 14-7 mark (.666)

• When the top three of Houston's lineup has been Jose Altuve-Springer-Dexter Fowler, the Astros are 12-5 and have averaged 4.82 runs.

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