(Sports Network) - After claiming the series opener on Friday, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will attempt to put a stamp on their series with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Angels' starter Garrett Richards pulled off the unlikely feat of out-dueling Felix Hernandez on Friday night to lead the Angels to a 2-0 victory.
Richards (4-5) was outstanding in 7 1/3 scoreless innings, yielding just four hits and two walks while striking out four. In the midst of a career performance, Richards had to exit the game in the eighth inning having thrown just 89 pitches after being struck with a line drive.
He is believed to have a forearm contusion, although it is unknown how much time he will miss if any.
Ernesto Frieri struck out the side in the ninth inning to collect his 27th save.
The Angels' only runs came in the second inning on a two-run home run off the bat of Chris Nelson, his third of the season. The long ball snapped an 0- for-17 drought for Nelson.
Hernandez (12-7) pitched very well despite the loss, allowing only three hits and a walk over six innings of work, yielding just the two earned runs while striking out 10. It was his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
Brad Miller finished with two of the Mariners' five hits on the night.
The Angels will send Jason Vargas to the hill on Saturday night. Vargas, who was activated from the disabled list earlier this month after missing nearly eight weeks following surgery to remove a blood clot from his left armpit, is 6-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 16 starts.
Vargas's return has not gone as smoothly as he had hoped, as he's 0-1 in two starts since Aug. 13 while allowing seven earned runs in 10 2/3 innings. He pitched into the sixth inning in his latest outing versus the Astros on Aug. 18 but was saddled with the no-decision.
"He's building into a little bit of stamina and he'll be better next time," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Vargas.
The southpaw has had great success against the Mariners this season, sporting a 2.40 ERA in two starts while allowing just 10 hits in 15 innings of work.
For Seattle, Erasmo Ramirez will toe the rubber attempting to improve upon his perfect record, although his 4-0 mark in seven appearances has largely been a result of good fortune, as he owns a lackluster 5.94 ERA.
Oddly enough, Ramirez earned a no-decision in his last start despite putting together his most impressive outing of the year, surrendering just four hits, one walk and one earned run in seven innings against the Rangers on Aug. 18.
Ramirez has faced the Angels just once before in his career, allowing five runs (three earned) over six innings in a loss last season.