Pujols' 2 RBIs back Richards' solid start

Pujols' 2 RBIs back Richards' solid start

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nolan Fontana and Ryan LaMarre delivered RBI doubles and Carlos Perez delivered a run-scoring triple in the ninth inning of the Angels' 8-7 victory over the Rockies on Thursday in a Cactus League game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

The contest featured solid, four-inning work from starters Garrett Richards of the Angels and Tyler Chatwood of the Rockies.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who is coming off December foot surgery, finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and second baseman Danny Espinosa added a pair of doubles. The Rockies' Dustin Garneau hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs as he intensified his bid to earn an Opening Day roster spot.

Richards gave up the Garneau homer in the second, when he yielded four of the five hits off him in his four innings pitched. He also fanned two.

Richards on efficiency on mound

"I'm still fine-tuning some things," said Richards, whose fastball sat at 95-97 mph in the 64-pitch outing. "Everything is not exactly where I want it right now, but it's moving in the right direction and every outing is getting better. I feel good. My stamina is there. [I'm] still doing what I do in the first inning in the fourth inning, so that's a good sign that I'm building in the right direction."

Rockies' Desmond out four to six weeks

Chatwood gave up eight hits -- seven singles, mostly on the ground -- but held the Angels to two runs while striking out five.

"I think that's their 'A' lineup right there," said Chatwood, who ran his fastball to 95 mph on multiple occasions, and mixed a cutter, changeup and a few curves. "Anytime you face that, get into some jams and get out of it, it's great for confidence and just making pitches."

Garneau, looking to join Tony Wolters in a catching tandem while rookie Tom Murphy is out with a right forearm hairline fracture, took Richards deep for his second spring homer. He added a sacrifice fly.

The Rockies' Rafael Ynoa had a solo homer and Correlle Prime added a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Prime's two-run home run

Angels catcher Tony Sanchez also drove in a run.

Rockies reliever Scott Oberg, whose 2016 season ended early because of blood clots in his right forearm, threw a spotless fifth inning with one strikeout. Oberg is looking to earn a spot in middle relief. Garneau later added a sacrifice fly. Stephen Cardullo had two hits and Jordan Patterson one; they are competing for one spot as a corner outfielder and first baseman.

Angels up next: Right-hander Alex Meyer, who is fighting for the fifth spot in the Angels' rotation, will make his fourth spring appearance Friday when the Halos head to Surprise Stadium to face the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. PT. Jesse Chavez, another rotation contender, is also slated to pitch five innings in a Minor League game Friday.

Rockies up next: Lefty Harrison Musgrave, who pitched at Triple-A Albuquerque last year and is being looked at for rotation depth, and righty prospect Zach Jemiola are slated to pitch against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday at 7:05 p.m. MT.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.