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Garrett Richards Struggles In Major League Debut

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Garrett Richards reacts after allowing a three-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the first inning. (AP Image) Garrett Richards reacts after allowing a three-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the first inning. (AP Image)

Corey DeMoss, News9.com

NEW YORK CITY – Edmond Memorial graduate and former Oklahoma pitcher Garrett Richards made his major league debut for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

Richards' career got off to a rocky start. He walked the first two batters he faced, and the first hit he allowed was a three-run home run by Curtis Granderson in the next at-bat. That saddled Richards with a 3-0 deficit before he had recorded an out.

Richards recovered to pitch two straight scoreless innings after that, but those were the only two zeros he tallied all night. The Yankees struck for two more runs in the fourth, and Granderson launched his second homer of the game in the fifth to give New York six runs.

Meanwhile, Richards received little run support from his offense. He left after the fifth inning, and at the time the Angels had one run on just three hits.

The Angels went on to lose 9-3, and Richards was credited with a loss after giving up six runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. His first career strikeout came against Derek Jeter.

The Angels drafted Richards out of Oklahoma in the first round of the 2009 supplemental draft. He had been pitching for the Angels' Double-A team, the Arkansas Travelers, where he had posted an impressive 12-2 record – including three complete games – and a 3.06 ERA.

Richards is considered one of the Angels' top pitching prospects. They purchased his contract directly from Arkansas on Tuesday and gave him his first start the next day.

The Angels are just 1.5 games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West, and Richards was promoted to take the place of Jared Weaver in the rotation. Weaver is currently serving a six-game suspension.

If the team allows Richards to start again in the same spot in the rotation, his next start would come on Aug. 15 at home against the division-leading Rangers. The Yankees and Rangers both are in the Top 5 in the American League in runs, on base percentage, slugging percentage and home runs.

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