NEW YORK (AP) - Two batters into Garrett Richards' major league career, his teammates were visiting the mound to calm him, ``Black Betty' was blasting through Yankee Stadium at full volume and Curtis Granderson was coming to the plate.
Richards promptly threw a wild pitch to move the runners up.
His second pitch was right over the plate. And then it was in the Yankees bullpen and New York was on its way to a 9-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
``He got me good,' Richards said. ``He's a lot different than the batters I've faced so far coming up.'
Richards finally recorded an out and the worst was over. He even made it through five innings and fanned Derek Jeter for his first major league strikeout. It wasn't enough to make up for the disastrous debut.
``His first three hitters weren't what you hoped,' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``In between there were some signs of his talent. ... You see the arm, you see the talent. As he refines it, you're going to see a very good major league pitcher.'
Granderson later added his career-high 31st homer on a long shot into the second deck in right field. Robinson Cano tacked on a two-run shot in the seventh inning, missing the cycle by a single.
Ivan Nova (11-4) took over the big league lead in wins for rookies, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings.
``I think he's made great strides since last year as a starter,' New York manager Joe Girardi said. ``I think he's become more consistent. He's developed another pitch.'
Nova walked three without a strikeout one start after he fanned 10 without a walk in his previous start.
He hasn't lost in eight starts since June 3, against the Angels, and didn't really do anything to increase the danger of being odd man out once the Yankees stop using six starting pitchers.
He let the first four batters reach in the seventh, but Rafael Soriano limited the Angels to a run-scoring double play for Nova's third earned run.
``He pitched a great game, got a lead and pounded the zone,' Scioscia said. ``He kept us off balance and we couldn't get much going until the seventh, but then they worked their way out of a bases-loaded jam.'
Peter Bourjos homered and Vernon Wells hit an RBI single for the Angels, who lost for the fourth time in 13 games.
The Yankees had lost six straight games when the opposing starter was making his big league debut. The streak was in jeopardy pretty much from the start of the first inning.
Leadoff hitter Brett Gardner walked, as did Jeter, before Granderson hit a long line drive to the gap in right that hit the padding atop the fence in front of the Yankees bullpen and bounced softly over it.
Richards (0-1) allowed six runs and six hits in five innings. He had two wild pitches, two strikeouts and two walks. He was called up from Double-A by Los Angeles to take Jered Weaver's turn in the rotation while the Angels ace serves a six-game suspension.
``I didn't have any butterflies before or anything like that,' Richards said. ``But then everything kind of hits you all at once.'
Los Angeles made two stellar defensive plays behind Richards. In the second inning, shortstop Erick Aybar sprinted out into left field, leaned left and robbed Gardner.
Two innings later, Bourjos made the play of the game in center field, running down Eduardo Nunez's drive to the gap and catching it at his knees while right fielder Torii Hunter dived in front of him. Bourjos turned and fired to second, where he nearly doubled off Eric Chavez.
``I was playing shallow. I know that balls can carry out there so I had to get on my horse,' Hunter said. ``Then I lost the ball in the lights. When I picked it back up I realized I was going to have to dive for it.'
Said Bourjos: ``I didn't see Torii, I was locked in on that ball. After I caught it, Torii looked up and said, 'That was almost ugly.' It was pretty cool to look up on the video screen and see the replay. I've never made a catch like that. I think in Little League I had a few collisions (on) balls like that, but I think we were both lucky that we were on two different paths.'
NOTES: Richards was 12-2 with 3.06 ERA at Arkansas. The 23-year-old was drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2009. ... Kevin Harvick, winner of the 2007 Daytona 500, threw out the first pitch. ... Angels RHP Joel Pineiro made his first relief appearance since Aug. 22, 2008, with St. Louis. ... Yankees RHP Bartolo Colon was set to face Angels rookie RHP Tyler Chatwood on Thursday afternoon. The 38-year-old Colon (8-6) has been a revelation for the Yankees this season, with a 3.33 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 113 2-3 innings. Chatwood (6-8) has a 4.10 ERA and 66 strikeouts against 59 walks. ... Chavez hit an RBI double and Nick Swisher and Russell Martin had run-scoring singles for the Yankees.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.