Richards exits with biceps cramping, Angels blank A's 5-0

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Garrett Richards felt some cramping in his biceps, as if someone had punched him in his pitching arm.

The Los Angeles Angels are taking no chances after going without him most of last season, yet manager Mike Scioscia still hopes the right-hander can make his next start.

Richards pitched beautifully while making his first appearance in 11 months after an elbow injury cut short his 2016 season, but left abruptly in the fifth inning with biceps cramping before the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 on Wednesday night.

''Nothing serious. My arm feels good. I felt good tonight, elbow feels fine, shoulder feels fine,'' he said. ''It was just kind of a long inning and it just kind of stiffened up a little bit. There's no red flags or anything, just something that flared up. ... Everything kind of moves on as planned.''

Scioscia and the training staff rushed to the mound after Richards threw a 94 mph called strike to Matt Joyce with two outs in the fifth. Richards was removed from the game, one out shy of being eligible for the win, and slugger Albert Pujols put an arm around the pitcher in the dugout.

The team announced he came out for precautionary reasons. Afterward, Richards went through strength tests with no issues. He will be examined by team doctors back in Southern California.

Richards struck out four and walked one, allowing three hits in 4 2/3 innings. JC Ramirez (1-0) worked 2 2/3 innings for the victory.

''That's a great first step for Garrett,'' Scioscia said.

Mike Trout hit an RBI single to back Richards, the Angels' opening day starter a year ago. He pitched for the first time since last May 1.

Danny Espinosa hit a two-run single one night after delivering a deciding three-run homer, and Andrelton Simmons doubled home a run in the second against Jharel Cotton (0-1).

The 25-year-old Cotton, who came to the A's in a trade-deadline deal last year that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers, can feel good about striking out Trout twice on seven pitches.

''He's got such a wide gap between his fastball and his breaking stuff,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''At times you almost have to guess with him a little bit, especially when he's spotting his fastball and he's got decent velocity with it.''

Cotton allowed eight hits and five runs, struck out four and walked two in 4 1/3 innings. This marked his first major league loss after going 2-0 over five starts in 2016.

Frankie Montas - who arrived in the same trade as Cotton - pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his A's debut.

The AL West rivals had split the first two games of the season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker came out fine from Tuesday's outing, his first in exactly seven months since being struck in the head by a line drive and needing surgery. ''I think it's good he can exhale. He got the first one out of the way,'' Scioscia said. ''I think like any starter, your first start is like opening day. It's probably, obviously, more focus on it to what happened to Matt last year. He was fine.'' ... Scioscia plans to start Carlos Perez behind the plate in the series finale Thursday afternoon to spell starting catcher Martin Maldonado.

Athletics: RHP John Axford was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained right shoulder. He experienced tightness after throwing a curveball warming up Tuesday night. Axford had no issues leading up to the injury. ''None, zero,'' Melvin said. ''It was a complete surprise not only to us but to him.'' RHP Jesse Hahn was recalled from Triple-A Nashville and will be used ''for a little bit more length to have a starter back there,'' Melvin said. ... A's starter Chris Bassitt threw to hitters for the first time since Tommy John surgery last May. He threw 25 pitches, all fastballs, after his warmup. ''The first time you had nerves and the first time you had adrenaline in nine months. Good feeling to have,'' said Bassitt, who threw about 10 bullpens before Wednesday's session. Bassitt is scheduled to pitch to hitters again Sunday at Class A Stockton and expects to be pitching in rehab games next month.

UP NEXT

LHP Tyler Skaggs makes his third career start against the A's and first since 2014, opposing Andrew Triggs as the Oakland right-hander begins his second major league season after making his first opening day roster.

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123456789RHE
LAA2-1
0300200005130
000000000060
  • W: J. Ramirez (1-0)L: J. Cotton (0-1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
Y. Escobar 3B41000101.231.286.231.5162.0
K. Calhoun RF51300000.455.538.455.9934.0
M. Trout CF50210022.385.385.9231.3083.0
A. Pujols DH50110003.083.154.083.2372.0
C. Cron 1B41200013.429.500.429.9292.5
C. Maybin LF31100100.273.333.273.6063.0
A. Simmons SS41210002.364.417.455.8715.0
D. Espinosa 2B30120012.182.250.455.7052.5
M. Maldonado C40100014.200.273.300.5731.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Joyce RF20100000.111.200.111.3111.0
    a- M. Canha PH-RF20000002.000.000.000.0000.0
    J. Lowrie 2B40000011.417.417.7501.167-0.5
    R. Healy 3B40000011.182.250.455.705-0.5
    K. Davis LF30100100.400.5001.0001.5002.0
    S. Vogt C40100002.250.250.583.8332.0
    T. Plouffe DH40100022.182.250.182.4320.0
    Y. Alonso 1B40100011.273.333.273.6060.5
    M. Semien SS30100010.250.455.375.8300.5
    R. Davis CF30000012.154.154.308.462-0.5
    • a-?? for Joyce in the 5th
    BATTING
    • 2B - M. Trout (2), A. Simmons, M. Maldonado
    • RBI - M. Trout (4), A. Pujols, A. Simmons, D. Espinosa 2 (5)
    BATTING
    • 2B - S. Vogt
    BASERUNNING
    • CS - D. Espinosa
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    G. Richards4.23001400.000.8610.0
    J. Alvarez0.20000100.000.000.5
    J. Ramirez (W, 1-0)2.22000202.450.7512.0
    Y. Petit1.01000000.001.002.0
    PITCHERSIP
    G. Richards4.2
    J. Alvarez0.2
    J. Ramirez (W, 1-0)2.2
    Y. Petit1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Cotton (L, 0-1)4.185524010.382.31-6.0
    F. Montas2.22000000.000.754.0
    D. Coulombe2.03000100.001.503.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Cotton (L, 0-1)4.1
    F. Montas2.2
    D. Coulombe2.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - G. Richards
    • Pitches-Strikes - G. Richards 76-49, J. Alvarez 14-10, J. Ramirez 38-26, Y. Petit 17-10
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Richards 8-2, J. Ramirez 1-5, Y. Petit 1-2
    • Batters Faced - G. Richards 18, J. Alvarez 2, J. Ramirez 10, Y. Petit 4
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Cotton
    • HBP - F. Montas
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Cotton 84-56, F. Montas 26-16, D. Coulombe 37-23
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Cotton 3-5, F. Montas 3-3, D. Coulombe 2-3
    • Batters Faced - J. Cotton 22, F. Montas 9, D. Coulombe 9
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    LAA2-1
    0300200005130
    000000000060
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    Y. Escobar 3B41000101.231.286.231.5162.0
    K. Calhoun RF51300000.455.538.455.9934.0
    M. Trout CF50210022.385.385.9231.3083.0
    A. Pujols DH50110003.083.154.083.2372.0
    C. Cron 1B41200013.429.500.429.9292.5
    C. Maybin LF31100100.273.333.273.6063.0
    A. Simmons SS41210002.364.417.455.8715.0
    D. Espinosa 2B30120012.182.250.455.7052.5
    M. Maldonado C40100014.200.273.300.5731.5
    Total37513502517-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      M. Joyce RF20100000.111.200.111.3111.0
      a- M. Canha PH-RF20000002.000.000.000.0000.0
      J. Lowrie 2B40000011.417.417.7501.167-0.5
      R. Healy 3B40000011.182.250.455.705-0.5
      K. Davis LF30100100.400.5001.0001.5002.0
      S. Vogt C40100002.250.250.583.8332.0
      T. Plouffe DH40100022.182.250.182.4320.0
      Y. Alonso 1B40100011.273.333.273.6060.5
      M. Semien SS30100010.250.455.375.8300.5
      R. Davis CF30000012.154.154.308.462-0.5
      Total3306001711-----
      HITTERSAB
      M. Joyce RF2
      a- M. Canha PH-RF2
      J. Lowrie 2B4
      R. Healy 3B4
      K. Davis LF3
      S. Vogt C4
      T. Plouffe DH4
      Y. Alonso 1B4
      M. Semien SS3
      R. Davis CF3
      Total33
      • a-?? for Joyce in the 5th
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Trout (2), A. Simmons, M. Maldonado
      • RBI - M. Trout (4), A. Pujols, A. Simmons, D. Espinosa 2 (5)
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Vogt
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - D. Espinosa
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      G. Richards4.23001400.000.8610.0
      J. Alvarez0.20000100.000.000.5
      J. Ramirez (W, 1-0)2.22000202.450.7512.0
      Y. Petit1.01000000.001.002.0
      Total9.0600170---
      PITCHERSIP
      G. Richards4.2
      J. Alvarez0.2
      J. Ramirez (W, 1-0)2.2
      Y. Petit1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Cotton (L, 0-1)4.185524010.382.31-6.0
      F. Montas2.22000000.000.754.0
      D. Coulombe2.03000100.001.503.5
      Total9.01355250---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Cotton (L, 0-1)4.1
      F. Montas2.2
      D. Coulombe2.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - G. Richards
      • Pitches-Strikes - G. Richards 76-49, J. Alvarez 14-10, J. Ramirez 38-26, Y. Petit 17-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Richards 8-2, J. Ramirez 1-5, Y. Petit 1-2
      • Batters Faced - G. Richards 18, J. Alvarez 2, J. Ramirez 10, Y. Petit 4
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Cotton
      • HBP - F. Montas
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Cotton 84-56, F. Montas 26-16, D. Coulombe 37-23
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Cotton 3-5, F. Montas 3-3, D. Coulombe 2-3
      • Batters Faced - J. Cotton 22, F. Montas 9, D. Coulombe 9
      • 5TH INNING
        Pujols singled to right center, Calhoun scored, Trout to third50
        Trout singled to center, Escobar scored, Calhoun to third40
      • 2ND INNING
        Espinosa singled to left center, Maybin and Simmons scored30
        Simmons doubled to shallow right, Cron scored, Maybin to third10
      • 9TH INNING
        • D. Coulombe Pitching:
        • Y. Escobar: Escobar grounded out to shortstop
        • K. Calhoun: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Calhoun lined out to center
        • M. Trout: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Trout doubled to right
        • A. Pujols: Ball, Pujols grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Yusmeiro Petit relieved JC Ramirez
        • K. Davis: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Davis flied out to right
        • S. Vogt: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Vogt grounded out to shortstop
        • T. Plouffe: Ball, Foul, Plouffe singled to left center
        • Y. Alonso: Ball, Foul, Alonso flied out to center
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • D. Coulombe Pitching:
        • C. Cron: Ball
        • Cron singled to center
        • C. Maybin: Foul, Ball, Ball, Maybin singled to center, Cron to second
        • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Foul, Simmons lined out to pitcher
        • D. Espinosa: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Espinosa struck out on foul tip
        • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Maldonado flied out to center
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Ramirez Pitching:
        • M. Canha: Canha grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Lowrie: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Lowrie flied out to left
        • R. Healy: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Healy flied out to center
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • F. Montas Pitching:
        • Y. Escobar: Strike looking, Escobar grounded out to pitcher
        • K. Calhoun: Calhoun singled to right center
        • M. Trout: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Trout grounded out to first, Calhoun to second
        • A. Pujols: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pujols popped out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Ramirez Pitching:
        • Y. Alonso: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Alonso lined out to shortstop
        • M. Semien: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Semien lined out to right
        • R. Davis: Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • F. Montas Pitching:
        • C. Maybin: Strike looking, Ball, Maybin flied out to right
        • A. Simmons: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Simmons singled to left
        • D. Espinosa: Strike looking, Ball, Espinosa hit by pitch, Simmons to second
        • M. Maldonado: Maldonado grounded into double play third to second to third to first, Simmons to third, Espinosa out at second
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Alvarez Pitching:
        • J. Lowrie: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Lowrie struck out looking
        • JC Ramirez relieved Jose Alvarez
        • R. Healy: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Healy popped out to shortstop
        • K. Davis: Foul, Davis reached on an infield single
        • S. Vogt: Strike looking, Strike looking, Vogt doubled to right center, Davis to third
        • T. Plouffe: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Plouffe struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Cotton Pitching:
        • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
        • Y. Escobar: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Escobar walked
        • K. Calhoun: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Calhoun singled to right, Escobar to third
        • M. Trout: Trout singled to center, Escobar scored, Calhoun to third
        • A. Pujols: Pujols singled to right center, Calhoun scored, Trout to third
        • Frankie Montas relieved Jharel Cotton
        • C. Cron: Strike looking, Cron lined into double play first, Pujols out at first
        • Middle of the 5th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Richards Pitching:
        • T. Plouffe: Ball, Plouffe grounded out to second
        • Y. Alonso: Ball, Ball, Alonso singled to right center
        • M. Semien: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Semien singled to center, Alonso to second
        • R. Davis: Foul, Ball, Davis reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Alonso to third, Semien out at second
        • M. Joyce: Strike looking
        • Jose Alvarez relieved Garrett Richards
        • Mark Canha in right
        • M. Canha: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Canha popped out to first
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Cotton Pitching:
        • C. Maybin: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Maybin grounded out to shortstop
        • A. Simmons: Foul, Foul, Foul, Simmons flied out to deep center
        • D. Espinosa: Strike swinging, Ball, Espinosa popped out to first
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Richards Pitching:
        • R. Healy: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Healy grounded out to third
        • K. Davis: Strike looking, Ball, Davis grounded out to pitcher
        • S. Vogt: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Vogt flied out to deep right
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Cotton Pitching:
        • K. Calhoun: Strike looking, Calhoun singled to left center
        • M. Trout: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
        • A. Pujols: Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Calhoun to second on wild pitch, Foul, Foul, Pujols grounded out to third, Calhoun to third
        • C. Cron: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • G. Richards Pitching:
        • R. Davis: Davis popped bunt out to first
        • M. Joyce: Ball, Joyce grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Lowrie: Strike looking, Lowrie grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Cotton Pitching:
        • A. Pujols: Pujols grounded out to third
        • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Cron singled to left center
        • C. Maybin: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Maybin walked
        • A. Simmons: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Simmons doubled to shallow right, Cron scored, Maybin to third
        • D. Espinosa: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Espinosa singled to left center, Maybin and Simmons scored
        • M. Maldonado: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Espinosa picked off at second, pitcher to first, Strike looking, Maldonado doubled to right
        • Y. Escobar: Ball, Escobar flied out to center
        • Middle of the 2nd (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Richards Pitching:
        • T. Plouffe: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Plouffe struck out swinging
        • Y. Alonso: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Alonso struck out swinging
        • M. Semien: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Semien struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Cotton Pitching:
        • Y. Escobar: Escobar lined out to first
        • K. Calhoun: Ball, Ball, Foul, Calhoun lined out to right
        • M. Trout: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • G. Richards Pitching:
        • M. Joyce: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Joyce singled to center
        • J. Lowrie: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Lowrie reached on fielder's choice to first, Joyce out at second
        • R. Healy: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Healy struck out swinging
        • K. Davis: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Davis walked, Lowrie to second
        • S. Vogt: Ball, Ball, Lowrie to third, Davis to second on wild pitch, Strike looking, Vogt grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)