Garrett Richards has tamed this potent Tigers lineup before. Now that he's filling in for the anchor of his team's rotation, injured right-hander Jered Weaver, the expectations are loftier and the task at hand is quite the tall order.
"You have to make pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's not a forgiving lineup, but if you can make pitches and catch the ball on the defensive side, you have a chance to contain them."
Tommy Hanson contained the Tigers on Friday, when he tossed six shutout innings in the Angels' 8-1 win. Success against Detroit isn't unprecedented for Richards, either. He submitted one of the best starts of his career against Jim Leyland's bunch last year, when he held them to three hits in seven innings of a 13-0 win on July 17.
The Tigers are off to a 9-7 start, while the Angels have limped out of the gates at 5-10, but momentum is on the Halos' side after picking up their third straight home win on Friday night. The Tigers, conversely, needed a two-out RBI in the ninth to prevent being shut out in back-to-back games for the first time in five years.
"Torii [Hunter] is off to a great start, that whole team is off to a great start," Scioscia said. "They have some power arms, they're holding leads and their lineup is as deep as you can get. You have to pitch well, you have to navigate your way through some things at times, I think the key is to make your pitches and hopefully you're going to make the plays defensively."
In his first start of the season last Saturday, Richards yielded four runs on three hits and three walks against the Astros. He didn't factor into the decision.
Right-hander Rick Porcello, seeking his first win of the season, will oppose Richards. The 24-year-old has fashioned a 5.11 ERA in two starts, giving up seven runs in 12 1/3 innings. In seven career outings against Los Angeles, Porcello has compiled a 3-2 record and 5.80 ERA.
Tigers: Valverde impresses in Minor League debut
Longtime closer Jose Valverde did his best Friday to convince the Tigers he can help their ballclub.
Valverde, who has a May 8 opt-out deadline written into his Minor League contract, tossed a hitless inning in his first Minor League action, working the seventh frame for Class A Lakeland.
Angels: Callaspo lands on DL
The Angels placed third baseman Alberto Callaspo on the disabled list prior to Friday's game. The infielder has been dealing with tightness in his right calf for more than a week.
"Alberto wasn't making enough progress to project he was going to be able to play here in the next three or four days," Scioscia said. "He'll be ready in eight or nine days."
Callaspo is batting .273 in nine games this season.
• Hunter, who spent five seasons with the Angels, singled to center in his first at-bat against his former team on Friday. He tacked on a ninth-inning double and scored a run.
• Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson recorded the second multi-steal game of his career on Friday. He also swiped two bags on June 12, 2010.