Angels' Richards leaves with apparent arm injury

Richards was making his first start since undergoing biometrics surgery to correct a torn ligament in his pitching elbow that occurred past year. Following that, he missed just a single start to open the 2015 year, when he won 15 games for the first time. He then exited the game after 4 2/3 scoreless innings and was holding his right arm.

Richards is the Angels' most important starting pitcher when healthy, and his return is a key variable in their hopes of bettering last season's 74-88 record.

That night, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said there were no plans for Richards to undergo an MRI examination, but general manager Billy Eppler said the next day that one had been scheduled for Friday. He opted not to have Tommy John surgery, instead choosing a less invasive biometrics procedure.

Jharel Cotton started for Oakland and got off to a terrific start, setting down the first four hitters he faced, including an impressive strikeout of Angels star Mike Trout.




Richards isn't far removed from being the ace of the Angels pitching staff and contending for a Cy Young in 2014. But after retiring Albert Pujols to start the second, Cotton lost his bearings.

Axford had no prior issues with the shoulder this spring.

"It was the first time to have nerves and adrenaline in nine months, so it was a good thing to have, for sure", Bassitt said. "Good feeling to have", said Bassitt, who threw about 10 bullpens before Wednesday's session.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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