(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim got a gem from starter Garrett Richards to win the opener of the Freeway Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
The shoe could be on the other foot Tuesday evening when the Dodgers turn to NL Cy Young favorite Clayton Kershaw for the second contest of the four-game home-and-home series.
The Angels went into Chavez Ravine on Monday and posted a 5-0 victory, with Richards tossing his first career shutout. In winning his 12th game of the season, Richards scattered five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts, logging a career-high 122 pitches in his second career complete game.
Richards was helped by the Angels' four-run first inning, with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hitting consecutive RBI doubles, Erick Aybar scoring on a throwing error and David Freese singling home a run.
"We got a win, that's the most important thing," Richards said. "Any time we can put up runs early, makes it nice for any pitcher."
Josh Hamilton homered in the sixth inning for the Angels, who won for the fourth time in five contests and remained a game behind Oakland for first place in the AL West.
The Dodgers, who lost for the third time in four tries, saw their lead in the NL West trimmed to 1 1/2 games over San Francisco.
The Angels' early surge came off Zack Greinke, who was charged with six hits and five runs -- three earned -- over seven frames to fall to 12-7 on the year.
"They jumped on Zack early. Not many teams can do that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "They did tonight. As the game went on, their guy was electric."
Not many teams have been able to jump on Kershaw this season either. He has won 10 straight decisions, having not lost since May 28, and has not allowed more than three runs in a start since giving up seven at Arizona on May 17.
The left-hander is 13-2 on the year, tying for the major league-lead in wins, and his 1.71 earned run average is the best in baseball.
Kershaw has thrown a complete game in two straight and three of his past four starts, beating Atlanta on Thursday. He gave up a run on nine hits versus the Braves, striking out nine without giving up a walk.
The 26-year-old lost his bid for a second straight shutout in the ninth.
"Clayton got us where we needed to go - a complete game," Mattingly said. "It was a good game for us. That was his game. He's our best guy."
Kershaw is 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA in his career versus the Angels, who turn to Hector Santiago tonight in place of the injured Tyler Skaggs.
Skaggs is on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained flexor tendon in his left forearm.
Santiago, meanwhile, is 3-7 with a 3.76 ERA this year in 19 games with 14 starts. His last appearance was in relief at Baltimore on Thursday, with the 26-year-old southpaw scattering two hits and two walks over a pair of innings to get a victory.
Santiago has faced the Dodgers just once before in relief.
The Dodgers and Angels split two meetings last season, with each team winning twice at home. This set shifts to Anaheim on Wednesday for a pair of games.