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OAK@LAA: Richards allows one run over seven frames

After giving up five runs in less than an inning against the A's on May 30, Garrett Richards is showing that one outing was out of the recent norm.

Richards is coming off two quality starts in which he gave up only one run total, and he will look to continue that hot streak against the Braves on Saturday.

In those two starts since the A's knocked him out in the first inning, Richards has not walked a batter. In the same time, he has struck out 13.

"Just going back to trusting my stuff," Richards said. "Just pounding the zone and not trying to be too fine. Just going right at guys, really."

It was a similar story for Richards the last time he faced a National League team.

Against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 14, Richards pitched seven shutout innings while giving up five hits and striking out eight. He didn't walk a batter.

Richards is having arguably his best season command-wise. He is averaging three walks per nine innings, which is 0.2 better than his career average. The mark is 0.3 higher than 2013, but Richards spend most of that season in the bullpen, starting only 17 of his 47 appearances.

"I think it's just trying to throw a quality strike instead of just throwing a strike," Richards said. "For me, it's just attacking guys. I feel like I fill up the zone a lot more when I'm just attacking guys versus like nibbling to try and get a quality strike down and away or focusing on just down and down and down instead of just throwing it in the zone.

"It really just comes back to believing in yourself and attacking guys."

The Braves will counter with Gavin Floyd as they try to make it back-to-back wins in the series.

Floyd bounced back from his roughest start of the season last time out -- allowing just three hits in 6 2/3 innings in the Braves' 3-1 win on Monday night at Coors Field.

Floyd, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his seven starts, had the satisfaction of recording his first win since returning from Tommy John surgery last month.

"The goal of this game is to win," Floyd said. "When you can be part of a win, it's exciting. You feed off of it. Even though I know I've felt good and I've been pitching real well, it's nice to have that first one."

Braves: Heyward exits after hit by pitch
Outfielder Jason Heyward left Friday's game against the Angels after being struck on his right hand with a C.J. Wilson pitch in the first inning.

Heyward initially stayed in the game, but manager Fredi Gonzalez lifted him in the bottom half of the second inning in favor of pinch-hitter Jordan Schafer.

Heyward is listed as day to day with a right hand contusion.

"I don't want to miss any games. Don't want to miss any games that way," Heyward said. "Broken bones obviously take longer than a lot of things. So it's good news, and hopefully I'll be back out there soon."

Angels: No lineup move for Pujols
Although Albert Pujols is batting .189 (14-for-74) since May 23, manager Mike Scioscia does not plan to move the slugger out of the third spot in the lineup.

"I think his recent track record, even if you look at a couple of years ago when he started to struggle or last year when he got going, this guy's going to hit. He's going to hit, and he's going to hit big," Scioscia said. "I think his presence in the middle is he will respond to the challenge, so right now, I think we're lining up where we need to and you always consider adjustments, but we're not there."

Pujols owned a .249 batting average and a .790 on-base-plus-slugging mark entering Friday's game.

Worth noting
• Braves catcher Evan Gattis owns a 13-game his hitting streak and has reached base in 17 consecutive games. Gattis belted his 14th home run -- a three-run shot -- in the first inning of Friday's 4-3 win over the Angels.

• Braves pitcher Alex Wood struck out five batters in 3 2/3 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday in his first start since being sent down to stretch out. He is working to return to the Braves' starting rotation by the end of the month.

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