Garrett Richards took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Los Angeles Angels scored all their runs in the fifth en route to a 3-1 victory Sunday that secured a four-game split with the AL West-leading Houston Astros.
Richards (3-1) walked his first batter of the day, then retired 15 in a row before walking rookie Preston Tucker to open the sixth. The right-hander walked his first two in the seventh before striking out Colby Rasmus, but Jason Castro lined a clean single to left field on a 2-2 pitch to break up the no-hit bid.
Richards fanned Marwin Gonzalez with the bases loaded before hitting Tucker with his 110th and final pitch, forcing in a run and reducing the Angels’ lead to 3-1.
Fernando Salas retired pinch-hitter Evan Gattis on a popup in short right field, with second baseman Johnny Giavotella fighting the bright sun all the way.
Richards struck out 10 and walked four to win his third straight decision and help the defending AL West champions move within five games of the Astros. Joe Smith pitched a perfect eighth inning and Huston Street did likewise in the ninth for his 10th save in 12 attempts, following back-to-back blown saves Wednesday and Thursday.
Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 26 starts last season before missing the final six weeks because of a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. He was injured while covering first base on Aug. 20 at Fenway Park.
He has a 2.25 ERA in five starts this season, including a 4-3 loss at Houston in which he struck out the side in the second inning on nine pitches â joining Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers in Angels history to accomplish that feat.
Scott Feldman (2-4) allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander, coming off his shortest outing of the season, lost his second in a row after giving up six runs and nine hits over three innings in a 7-1 home loss to Seattle.
Chris Iannetta snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth with an infield hit that scored two runs.
Feldman went into a slide to field Iannetta’s roller toward the third base line and tried for a force at the plate on David Freese, but threw the ball way over Castro’s head while on the seat of his pants. The error allowed Erick Aybar to come home as well, and Kole Calhoun followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Astros: LHP Brett Oberholtzer is expected to make his season debut Wednesday night against San Francisco. He was slated to be the team’s No. 3 starter before developing a blister on his index finger. … Houston closer Luke Gregerson is expected back from the emergency family leave list on Tuesday. … RF George Springer is eligible to come off the seven-day concussion disabled list Wednesday.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (4-0) is 11-0 with a 2.45 ERA over his last 14 starts. He will face the Giants for the first time in his career on Tuesday night when he opposes Chris Heston in the opener of a two-game series at Houston, and needs a victory to tie the franchise record for consecutive wins.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (1-2) will pitch Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game set with Colorado that closes out the homestand. He has allowed fewer than three runs in five of his six starts this season.