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Richards sharp in 3-inning tuneup vs. Cubs

Angels pitcher holds dangerous lineup to 2 hits in 2nd ST start
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Most of the Cubs' regular position players were in action in their 6-4 win over the Angels on Friday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, giving Garrett Richards an early chance to test himself against a deep and talented lineup.

Richards handled the challenge with ease, allowing just two hits -- a single to Kris Bryant and a double to Jason Heyward -- over three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring. The 29-year-old right-hander struck out two and walked one in the 41-pitch effort.

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Most of the Cubs' regular position players were in action in their 6-4 win over the Angels on Friday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, giving Garrett Richards an early chance to test himself against a deep and talented lineup.

Richards handled the challenge with ease, allowing just two hits -- a single to Kris Bryant and a double to Jason Heyward -- over three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring. The 29-year-old right-hander struck out two and walked one in the 41-pitch effort.

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"That forces you to take your game to the next level and focus a little bit more," Richards said of facing the Cubs. "You can't miss over the plate. It just kind of sharpens everything up. I'm mentally looking at stuff a little bit differently. Just tried to avoid staying over the middle of the plate and tried to make quality pitches."

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Richards, who gave up one run over two innings in his Cactus League debut against the Padres on Sunday, added that he would have liked to have thrown more first-pitch strikes on Friday, though he was pleased with his ability to get back into counts.

"[Richards] was great," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He was where he needed to be. Couple sliders got away, but for the most part, he had all his pitches. Velocity was good. He made all his pitches. Threw the ball well."

Angels Spring Training info

Camp battle
Three relievers who are in the bullpen mix pitched Friday and yielded mixed results.

Veteran right-hander Jim Johnson entered the game in the sixth inning, gave up a one-out double to Anthony Rizzo and then uncorked a pair of wild pitches that allowed the runner to score. Johnson, who was acquired from the Braves over the offseason, had worked two scoreless innings in his first two appearances of the spring.

"His velocity is good," Scioscia said. "He's spinning the ball well. It's just a matter of a veteran in Spring Training, there's different stages and levels they want to get to. He's working on a couple things."

Video: CHC@LAA: Court scampers home on a wild pitch

Right-hander Blake Wood took over in the seventh with the Angels leading, 2-1, but he allowed two runs on four singles. Right-hander Noe Ramirez followed Wood in the eighth and struck out one over a scoreless inning. Ramirez, who recorded a 2.16 ERA over 8 1/3 innings with the Angels in 2017, has not allowed a run in three innings this spring.

Peak Spring Training
In the top of the sixth inning, a wave of substitutes entered the game to replace most of the Angels' starters, creating an amusing oddity.

"Your eyes are not deceiving you," a press box announcement said. "The Angels have three No. 9s on the field right now."

The three No. 9s were Eric Young Jr., Kyle Survance Jr. and Sherman Johnson.

Video: CHC@LAA: Survance Jr. hits an RBI double to right

Up next
Tyler Skaggs will make his second Cactus League start on Saturday, when he faces the Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. Skaggs allowed three runs over 1 1/3 innings against the Padres in his first appearance of the spring. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT (watch live on MLB.TV).

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Garrett Richards