Major League Baseball
Preview
LA Angels at Houston
When: 2:10 PM ET, Sunday, April 19, 2015
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Garrett Richards will make his first start in eight months for the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in the finale of their three-game series against the Houston Astros. Richards was sailing along with a 13-4 record last year when he suffered a ruptured left patellar tendon while covering first base against Boston on Aug. 20, an injury that required season-ending surgery.

The Astros can post back-to-back victories for the first time this season after improving to 2-3 on their six-game homestand. Robbie Grossman belted a three-run shot to break open Saturday's 4-0 victory, moving halfway to his home run and RBI totals accumulated in 360 at-bats last year. The Angels scored 24 runs in the first four games of their road trip before they were blanked away from home for the first time since July 13, 2013. Mike Trout, who homered twice in Friday's series opener, had his season-opening 10-game hitting streak halted Saturday.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), ROOT (Houston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Garrett Richards (2014: 13-4, 2.61 ERA) vs. Astros RH Scott Feldman (1-0, 6.17)

Richards showed flashes of being a reliable starter over the last two months in 2013, but he blossomed into an All-Star last season, putting together unbeaten strings of eight and nine starts. The 26-year-old went 7-0 during a nine-outing span from June 4-July 19, allowing a total of nine runs and yielding fewer than two on seven occasions. Richards went 3-1 against Houston last season, yielding a total of two runs in the three wins.

Feldman deserved a better fate in his season debut as he took the loss despite permitting only one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, but he was hammered in his last outing. The 32-year-old surrendered eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits while serving up three homers in an 8-1 home loss to Oakland. Feldman is 5-8 with a 4.80 ERA versus Los Angeles and has been unable to solve Erick Aybar, who is 14-for-31 against him.

WALK-OFFS

1. Angels 1B Albert Pujols is 0-for-7 in the series, dropping his batting average to .154..

2. Astros CF Jake Marisnick has hit safely in four straight games and is 10-for-26 over his last eight contests.

3. Saturday's shutout snapped Los Angeles' franchise record of 126 straight road games with at least one run scored.

PREDICTION: Angels 4, Astros 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
LA Angels 5-5 W2 0-3 5-2 0-0 0-3 5-2 0-0
Houston 4-6 L1 2-5 2-1 0-0 1-2 3-4 0-0
Last Meeting
LA Angels Houston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/17/15 LAA 6 HOU 3 .194 2 .709 .235 1 .603
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Angels K. Calhoun .667 2 2.083
Houston E. Gattis .500 2 1.250
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Angels M. Trout 2 2 5
Houston J. Castro 1 1 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Angels 3.00 .194 5
Houston 6.00 .235 9
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Angels M. Trout .444 16 1.250
Houston J. Altuve .286 12 .714
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Angels M. Trout 3 9 9
Houston J. Lowrie 3 4 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Angels 4.19 .227 68
Houston 3.06 .207 76