The Angels were four batters into a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday when Garrett Richards put them in a three-run hole by walking two and giving up a three-run home run to Jose Abreu.

The Richards of 2012 or 2013 may have collapsed. Heck, the Richards of this last May 30 failed to make it out of the first inning at Oakland after giving up two singles, a walk and a grand slam to the first four batters.

But this Richards seems different. He has more of an edge, a swagger, a confidence that rivals his stuff, which is often described as "filthy," a lively 96-mph fastball and a sharp breaking ball.

This Richards rebounded from the Abreu homer to retire 23 of 25 batters in a sparkling eight-inning, two-hit, three-run, nine-strikeout effort that led the Angels to an 8-4 Game 1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The Angels also won Game 2, 7-5, for their first doubleheader sweep since July 21, 2009, at Kansas City. In the process, they cut Oakland’s lead in the AL West to 3 1/2 games.