PHILADELPHIA (AP) –– Garrett Richards helped Mike Trout have a perfect homecoming trip.
Richards tossed a five-hitter over seven sharp innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 on Wednesday to sweep a two-game interleague series.
Trout went 1 for 4 with a triple, walk and stolen base. The two-time All-Star went 2 for 9 in his first series against the team he rooted for growing up. Trout grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey. More than 4,000 people from the small town came to see him Tuesday night, and there were plenty of fans wearing No. 27 Angels jerseys in the stands again.
“It was a quick two days, two wins,” Trout said. “It’s been a blast. I was feeling something special just driving to the stadium.”
Richards (4-0) struck out eight with no walks and lowered his ERA to 2.42. Ernesto Frieri pitched a perfect eighth, and Joe Smith finished off the five-hitter for his fifth save in seven tries.
“I was keeping the ball down in the zone,” Richards said. “My two-seam fastball was working well. Mainly I got ahead with my fastball then kept them off balance with breaking balls.”
Phillies starter A.J. Burnett (2-3) labored through five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked five.
“I’m not a negative person, so I’m not going to pout,” Burnett said.
The Angels have won five of six to move a season-high three games above .500 at 21-18. The Phillies have lost three straight and seven of nine to fall a season-worst four games under .500 at 17-21.
The Angels got a run in each of the first three innings. Richards did the rest.
Albert Pujols hit a two-out double in the first and scored on a single by Raul Ibanez, the former Phillies All-Star who heard familiar “Rauuuul” chants when he came to the plate. Ibanez helped the Phillies win the NL pennant in 2009 and was a fan favorite during three seasons in Philadelphia.
Efren Navarro had an RBI single with two outs in the second to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
Erick Aybar ripped an RBI double to right-center in the third to make it 3-0. But Burnett escaped more trouble with the bases loaded and no outs. He struck out Grant Green and retired Luis Jimenez on a double play.
Richards pitched out of his only jam in the sixth after Chase Utley’s second double put runners at second and third with one out. Richards then struck out Ryan Howard and retired Marlon Byrd on a soft liner.
Trout led off the seventh with a triple off reliever Mike Adams. He dove headfirst into third base and got up to cheers. Adams left him there, though. He fanned Pujols and Ibanez, walked Aybar and retired Hank Conger on a pop-up.
Trout thought about stealing home.
“It was in the back of my mind,” he said. “I was looking in the dugout. It’d be dangerous, though, if the hitter didn’t know.”
The Phillies are 6-11 at home. They’ve scored two runs or fewer at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park five times in 17 games. They’re 1-8 in interleague play.
“We need to do a better job driving the ball at our park,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “This is considered a hitter’s park. Teams come in here swinging. We need to step up our hitting.”
NOTES: Pujols tied Lou Gehrig for 33rd on the all-time list with his 534th career double. He snapped an 0-for-15 slump with the hit. … Of Trout’s 42 hits, 21 are for extra bases. … Jimmy Rollins singled in the sixth for his 2,211th career hit, tying Ed Delahanty for third on the club’s all-time list. Rollins is 24 shy of passing Mike Schmidt for first place. … The Phillies are off Thursday before opening a three-game series at home vs. Cincinnati on Friday. Kyle Kendrick (0-3, 3.98) faces Homer Bailey (3-2, 4.72). The Angels start a four-game set at Tampa on Thursday. Tyler Skaggs (3-1, 4.14) opposes Erik Bedard (2-1, 3.38).