Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Garrett Richards struck out a career-high 11 batters over 7 1/3 effective innings and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Houston Astros, 6-1, to sweep a four-game set.
Richards surrendered one run on six hits and a walk, while Kole Calhoun smacked a solo homer among his three hits and two runs scored for the Angels, who have won six of their last seven games.
"This was all about pitching this afternoon," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He (Richards) just went after those guys with his best stuff, he pounded the zone."
Collin McHugh allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and two walks over four frames for Houston, which has dropped seven in a row.
"We didn't play well, we didn't help ourselves. They took it to us in every aspect of the game," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
The Angels opened the scoring with three runs in the third.
Hank Conger singled to begin the frame and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by John McDonald. Calhoun singled and Mike Trout was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Albert Pujols then reached out and slapped a base hit to left, bringing home Conger and Calhoun. Josh Hamilton's groundout plated Trout to give the Halos a 3-0 lead.
Houston got on the board in the seventh, but the Angels got the run back in the home half and added two more in the eighth.
Alex Presley hit a one-out double and scored on Carlos Corporan's single through the hole on the right side, but Calhoun's two-out solo shot into the seats in right during the home seventh extended the Angels' margin to 4-1.
Hamilton worked a one-out walk and advanced to third on Erick Aybar's single. Hamilton scored when Corporan committed a throwing error while trying to throw out Aybar, who was stealing second. Aybar reached third on the error and came home on Howie Kendrick's bouncer to short and increase the advantage to 6-1.