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PCL baseball: Salt Lake Bees playing it safe with Richards

Published: Monday, Aug. 6 2012 11:46 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — It's just four days until Garrett Richards can celebrate his first major league debut back in August 2011— when he became the first starting pitcher to make his MLB debut at the new Yankee Stadium.

Richards was reassigned to Salt Lake on Saturday, and was limited to just three innings Monday night in the Bees' 4-3 victory over the Oklahoma City Red Hawks.

That alone could suggest that Richards might be back up with the Los Angeles Angels' active roster to help their struggling bullpen, but it seems as though a minor injury in the form of a tweaked leg had the pitcher make an early exit.

Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson confirmed the injury, but brushed it off as playing safe rather than sorry.

"(Richards) kind of tweaked his leg a little bit, and as important as he is to our major league club, we decided to take him out as a precautionary thing," said Johnson. "He should be fine, but we weren't going to take that chance tonight."

Richards confirmed the minor injury, and mentioned it was really nothing to worry about.

"I just tweaked it a little bit covering first, but it's just a precautionary stuff," said Richards. "I am fine."

The 24 year old was 1-1 in three starts while pitching for the Halos during the latest call-up, logging 19 innings pitched during the two-week stretch.

"That's the goal, man. I'm just trying to work harder and improve on some things, and that's the ultimate goal," said Richards. "It's what I am working towards right now."

Monday's win puts the Bees over the .500 mark with a 59-58 record, and they still trail division leader Reno by 10 games.

NOTEBOOK: Kole Calhoun continued to make his name part of the major league conversation with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Calhoun finished the game 2-for-4 with a triple, a homer, two RBIs and one run scored. The Bees' bullpen was summoned upon early due to Richards' short outing, and the four pitchers combined for five hits, three earned runs and seven strikouts.

TROUT WATCH: Former Bee Mike Trout had three stolen bases Monday night versus the Athletics, making it 27 consecutive steals. It was his 36th rob of the season, which leads the American League.

ATTENDANCE: It was family night, and 7,597 baseball fans gathered to watch the Bees pick up their fifth consecutive victory.

email: cjohnson@desnews.com

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