Tanaka (4-2) was dominant. He retired the first eight batters he faced and struck out the side in the second inning. He didn’t allow a hit until Mike Trout singled to left field to lead off the fourth inning.
The much-anticipated matchup between Tanaka on the mound and his fellow countryman Shohei Ohtani didn’t happen because Ohtani was out of the lineup with an ankle injury that occurred in Friday’s game. Ohtani, a two-way sensation, and Tanaka faced each other in Japan in 2013, but Ohtani never got a hit off Tanaka.
Ohtani, who said he was feeling better, has a mild sprain.
“I feel I’ll be ready to be in the lineup, but once again, it’s not up to me,” Ohtani said through an interpreter after Saturday’s game.
Ohtani said he planned on throwing a bullpen Sunday and making his scheduled pitching start Tuesday, but the Angels say he’s still day-to-day.
Ohtani said there was a possibility that he could have pinch-hit in Saturday’s game against the Yankees.
Asked if he was disappointed he couldn’t play against Tanaka, Ohtani said: “Not the fact that it was Tanaka but I want to play in as many games as possible.”
The Angels got on the board Saturday via a Zack Cozart leadoff solo home run to left field off Tanaka in the fifth inning.
Richards (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season. His ERA climbed to 4.88.
Albert Pujols was 0 for 4. He has 2,995 hits.