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Angels send unbeaten Richards to hill against Astros

(Sports Network) - Garrett Richards puts his unblemished record on the line Monday when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim open a three-game series against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium.

Richards was brilliant on Wednesday in Philadelphia, as he scattered five hits and struck out eight over seven scoreless innings to improve to 4-0, while lowering his ERA to 2.42.

The 25-year-old right-hander is one of three unbeaten pitchers who have made at least six starts, joining the New York Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia.

"I've worked very hard to get where I am. I've continued to learn. I'm figuring some things out as I go," Richards said.

Richards beat Houston in his first start of the season and is 2-0 lifetime against them with a 4.95 ERA in six games (3 starts).

Los Angeles took three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend and on Sunday, Albert Pujols had a pair of solo home runs among his three hits to help guide the Angels to a 6-2 victory.

Collin Cowgill, Howie Kendrick and Grant Green each contributed an RBI for Los Angeles, which has won eight of its last 10 contests.

"I'm feeling good, I was able to contribute to the win. He (David Price) made a couple of mistakes and we took advantage of them," said Pujols.

Angels starter Matt Shoemaker (2-1) hurled six-plus solid innings of one-run, two-hit ball with a career-high six strikeouts.

Houston, meanwhile, has won four of five after capturing the final two games of its three-game series with the Chicago White Sox. On Sunday, Matt Dominguez crushed a pair of two-run homers to power the Astros to an 8-2 win at Minute Maid Park.

Jonathan Villar chipped in with two RBI and Chris Carter added a solo shot for Houston, winners in five of its last seven contests.

Brad Peacock (1-4) spun a solid 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and four walks to earn the win.

"I felt great today and (catcher Carlos) Corporan caught a great game. I just hit my spots and focused on his glove," said Peacock.

Dexter Fowler has walked in eight consecutive games, the longest streak by an Astros player since Morgan Ensberg walked in nine in a row in August 2006.

Getting the call for the Astros on Monday will be lefty Dallas Keuchel, who is coming off the first shutout of his career. Keuchel scattered seven hits and struck out seven Texas Rangers on Tuesday, as he improved to 4-2 to go along with a 2.42 ERA.

Keuchel has faced the Angels five times (4 starts) and is 2-1 with a 6.65 ERA.

The Angels took three of four from the Astros earlier in the season.

05/19 10:27:02 ET

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