Richards returns Sunday …

UPDATE: Angels manager Mike Scioscia made it official prior to Saturday’s game, saying Garrett Richards will start Sunday’s series finale against the Astros. The Angels wanted to keep Richards on an every-five-days schedule in large part so that he doesn’t pitch in a National League park and, thus, have to bat.

Richards is slated to start on April 19, 24 and 29, then May 4, which means he’d skip the three-game series in San Francisco, against the Giants, May 1-3.

***

It looks like Richards will indeed be making his long-awaited return from knee surgery on Sunday, the series finale against the Astros from Minute Maid Park.

The decision hasn’t been announced yet, but the Angels have Matt Shoemaker listed for Monday’s series opener against the A’s at home — on six days’ rest — and there’s strong indication that Richards will be the one taking the ball on Sunday. Richards gave up five runs in five innings at Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday, then threw a between-starts bullpen session in Houston on Friday and said he feels ready to return to the big leagues.

Adam Wilk, temporarily serving as a long reliever, is expected to be sent back to the Minors when Richards is activated.

Richards’ return would be a big boost to the club.

“When teams play us, they wonder if they’re going to miss G-Rich or not,” Angels third baseman David Freese said in a recent story. “He’s that type of pitcher. He’s big to our rotation. What he did last year, hopefully he can build on that. From the looks of it, he’s ready to go.”

Alden

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