Richards (4-2) held the Astros to just two unearned runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts over seven innings in a tough luck loss Wednesday.

Richards was outdueled by Justin Verlander, who tossed a complete game shutout, but Richards was fantastic against an excellent Astros lineup. He was able to induce weak contact with his fastball and drew all nine of his swinging strikes on 43 sliders, the off-speed pitch that has been his bread and butter this season. For the second time in three starts, Richards held his opponents without an earned run, and since a disastrous start against the Yankees on April 28 (1.2 IP, 9 R, 5 ER), Richards owns a 1.42 ERA with a pristine 16:2 K:BB.

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