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LAA@TEX: Richards fans seven over 7 1/3 for 13th win

Garrett Richards may have just one career start against the Red Sox, but it sure was a dandy.

The Angels right-hander didn't allow a hit in the first six innings against Boston on Aug. 9 in Anaheim, finishing the night by allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits in 6 1/3 innings.

This time, Richards will face the Red Sox on Wednesday at Fenway Park.

Richards has been spectacular since the beginning of June, posting a 1.79 ERA. He won Friday over the Rangers, allowing two runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.

"I'm continuing to learn, whether it is a good or a bad outing. I always take something away from it. I'm just trying to fill up the zone and really challenge guys," Richards said. "I'm not pitching to the name on the back, I'm pitching my game. I'm not giving in and staying competitive with everything I throw."

While the Red Sox sit at the bottom of the American League East and have lost the first two games of the series, Richards still knows what Boston's lineup is capable of doing.

"They are a great lineup, one through nine is a good player. Just because they are in last place doesn't mean you get complacent," Richards said. "This is still a good team and they are still capable of winning. You have to treat it like they are in first place every time."

Richards will again oppose Clay Buchholz, who's had back-to-back solid starts, both of which were no-decisions.

The only starter left from Boston's Opening Day rotation, Buchholz has finally begun to pitch like the staff's veteran.

After allowing three runs in eight innings against the Angels, the right-hander surrendered two runs in seven innings to the Astros on Friday. He's allowed just four walks and struck out 17 in the last two outings.

While Buchholz has been able to command his fastball, throwing his curveball for strikes over the past two starts has allowed him to find success.

"Yeah, I felt like they were probably the best outings I've had of the season. ... I can take a lot of positives out of it," Buchholz said after his last start.

Angels: Iannetta gets another start
With Chris Iannetta continuing to swing a hot bat, manager Mike Scioscia decided to start him behind the plate Tuesday.

That has been the thinking by Scioscia lately, choosing to keep struggling catcher Hank Conger on the bench. Conger has just two hits since July 22 and has started only six of 17 games in August.

"Chris is playing well, catching well," Scioscia said. "He's certainly earned the playing time."

Iannetta went 2-for-3 on Tuesday and hit the game-winning RBI double in the ninth inning of Red Sox closer Koji Uehara in a 4-3 victory.

Red Sox: Middlebrooks leaves with tight hamstring
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks left Tuesday's game in the fourth inning with right hamstring tightness.

Middlebrooks beat out an infield single to start the fourth, but looked uncomfortable at first base during Xander Bogaerts' at-bat.

Manager John Farrell said after the game that Middlebrooks is day to day and would have tests done Wednesday.

"We don't know the extent of it," Farrell said. "He strained it on that infield base hit. When he was leading off, coming back to second base in that next at-bat it looked like it grabbed him again. We got him out of there as a precaution."

Worth noting
• Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick is batting .358 at Fenway, which ranks third among active players.

• Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun has seven multihit efforts in his last 10 games, during which he's hitting .391.

• David Ortiz leads the Majors with 92 RBIs, which account for 19 percent of Boston's runs. Comments