Richards highlights Angels' big day

Right-hander tosses four shutout innings in split-squad start

By Sam Dykstra / Special to | March 16, 2012 4:37 PM ET

Garrett Richards knew he had some work to do to earn the final spot in the Angels' rotation. If his most recent Spring Training starts are any indication, the 23-year-old right-hander is up to the task.

The Angels' No. 3 prospect struck out six and allowed three hits over four innings Friday in a 7-0 split-squad victory over the Indians in Cactus League action.

After allowing two earned runs on four hits over two innings in his Spring Training debut, Richards has settled down. Following Friday's performance, he's pitched seven consecutive scoreless frames. The 2011 Texas League All-Star has not issued a walk while fanning six in his last two outings.

If Richards earns a spot in the rotation, it won't be his first time at the Major League level. After winning 10 straight decisions at Double-A Arkansas, he made his big league debut last Aug. 11 and was roughed up for six runs over five innings against the Yankees. He returned as a September callup, where he spent most of his time coming out of the bullpen.

Hitting prospects took center stage in the Angels' other split-squad game, an 8-7 setback to the Padres.

On the eve of his 22nd birthday, No. 2 prospect Jean Segura smacked a pair of solo homers and scored three times. He went deep only twice in 52 games across two Minor League levels, although a strained hamstring sidelined him for a good part of last season.

Former first-round pick Taylor Lindsey, the Angels' No. 6 prospect, came off the bench and singled in both of his at-bats to raise his Cactus League average to .778 (7-for-9). The 21-year-old second baseman, who has yet to make his full-season debut, committed an error in the Padres' eight-run seventh inning but stole second to put the potential tying run in scoring position in the ninth.

No. 15 prospect Kole Calhoun went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored to raise his spring average to .379.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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