The Angels enjoyed a welcome boost Wednesday — twice.

Garrett Richards pitched his best game of the season as the right-hander tossed eight scoreless innings in the Angels' 4-0 win over the Houston Astros, snapping the Angels' four-game losing streak.

Before the game, star center fielder Mike Trout had an MRI exam for his back stiffness and, he and the Angels were relieved to learn, the test revealed nothing serious.

"It's definitely good news," said the 22-year-old Trout, who did not play Wednesday but said he hoped to return in the next couple of days.

Richards was coming off his worst outing when he failed to escape the first inning last Friday in Oakland, and "I definitely came into this game with a little chip on my shoulder," he said. "Last one was embarrassing.

"We're on a bit of a skid and I wanted to be the guy to get us going again," Richards said, adding he was "just pounding the [strike] zone, going right at guys."

Angels catcher Hank Conger said that "you could definitely see right at the get-go [Richards] was coming out pretty hot with his fastball. His stuff looked amazing."

Trout missed the Saturday and Sunday games in Oakland and, in Tuesday night's game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park, he left after the first inning because the back pain returned.

That prompted the Angels to send Trout to a doctor in Houston for the MRI exam to see whether there was any damage.

"The MRI was clean, it was just some inflammation in my mid-left back," Trout said.