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OC Register: Angels’ Cam Bedrosian encouraged by increased velocity

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HOUSTON — The numbers – on the scoreboard and the radar gun – indicate Cam Bedrosian may be on the way back.

With Keynan Middleton unavailable Tuesday night after pitching three days in a row, Cam Bedrosian picked up the final four outs to record his first save of the season.

Over his past two games, he’s struck out four and hasn’t allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings. Also, his velocity, which had been an issue, seems to be coming back. Bedrosian has thrown his 10 hardest pitches of the year in his past two outings, including hitting 96 mph for the first time Tuesday.

“I am trying not to look (at the velocity), but people have mentioned a few higher numbers,” Bedrosian said Wednesday. “I think it’s just mechanical and getting where I need to be. Everything is starting to sync up now and feel better.”

Bedrosian had been one of the most enigmatic of the Angels relievers over the past few years. At times he’s looked like he had the stuff to be a dominant closer. Other times, at least partly because of injuries, he was inconsistent.

Further clouding his status, Bedrosian lost some velocity. He had averaged 96 mph with his fastball during his breakthrough season in 2016. He missed the end of that season with injuries, though. He also missed about half of 2017 with a groin injury, and when he returned he was throwing 93-94 mph, and the velocity still hadn’t returned through the early weeks this season.

Bedrosian had said he felt last year’s drop was because of lingering issues from his groin injury, and early this year it was just a mechanical problem.

Now, after two consecutive encouraging outings, he’s hoping to be on the way back.

“I think the past couple outings have been good steps,” he said. “I’ve been working my butt off with things, mechanically, physically, just anything I can to get right, and I think it’s starting to pay off.”

Apparently he had risen enough in the eyes of Manager Mike Scioscia that he got the call for the game’s most important outs when Middleton was out. Bedrosian retired the only batter he faced in the eighth, and then he worked around a walk to pitch a scoreless ninth, securing the one-run victory.

“That’s huge to get something like that, to help the team out in a big situation like that,” he said. “It’s a big confidence booster, not just for me but for everybody. That’s a good point for us as a team to scrap in a game like that and get a win.”

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