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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, August 9 (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (51-64) at LA Angels of Anaheim (67-48), 9:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Clay Buchholz (5-7, 6.20) LA Angels - Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.58)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will send their best pitcher to the bump on Saturday night at Angels Stadium to try to even their weekend series with the Boston Red Sox.

Garrett Richards has emerged as the Angels' ace this season as well as one of the American League's best hurlers. The hard-throwing right hander has broken out in 2014 to the tune of a 12-4 record with a 2.58 ERA, striking out 152 batters in 153 1/3 innings.

After losing back-to-back starts to close out July, Richards bounced back in a big way his last time out by tossing his first-career shutout against the Dodgers on Aug. 4, allowing just seven base runners while striking out nine.

"He is driven," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of his starter. "Garrett wants to be good. He has a lot of confidence in what he can do."

The 26-year-old has not been as dominant at home this season (3.41 ERA) as he has been on the road (1.91 ERA).

Clay Buchholz (5-7) will attempt to put an end to his dreadful run of late on Saturday for Boston. He has allowed seven earned runs in back-to-back starts, most recently getting lit up by the Yankees on Aug. 3, allowing eight hits and five walks in a no-decision.

"It's been a frustrating year for everyone in here," Buchholz said. "We don't want to go out there and wear a Red Sox uniform and perform the way I am. I need to pick it up."

Buchholz's recent struggles has caused his ERA to balloon to 6.20.

The right-hander, who turns 30 on Aug. 14, is 6-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 10 career starts against the Angels.

Boston got a leg up on the series with a 4-2 victory on Friday night.

Most of the Red Sox's damage came during a three-run third inning, when Dustin Pedroia produced an RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes belted a two-run double.

Mike Napoli added a solo homer in the fifth, his 14th of the year.

Allen Webster (2-1) kept the potent Angels' lineup in check, allowing just four hits, two walks and two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Koji Uehara brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning but emerged with his 24th save.

Jered Weaver (12-7) wasn't at his best, yielding seven hits and four runs in six innings of work.

Kole Calhoun went 2-for-5 out of the leadoff spot but also made the final out. Mike Trout's third-inning sacrifice fly accounted for his 82nd RBI of the season.

The Angels and Red Sox split six meetings last season.

08/09 10:53:02 ET