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OC Register: Tyler Skaggs satisfied with first outing of the season for the Angels


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OAKLAND — Tyler Skaggs’ first start of the season could not have started much better.

Skaggs retired the first eight hitters he faced before getting in and out of a jam, and then before misplacing a few pitches toward the end of his 86-pitch outing.

“Mechanics-wise, not my greatest,” said Skaggs, who was charged with two runs in 4-2/3 innings. “I was feeling for certain pitches, but it makes you a better pitcher in the long run when you know your stuff is not that good and you can still go out and compete.”

Skaggs had missed a start in spring training with forearm fatigue, so he was slightly behind where he should have been. He was penciled in for about 90 pitches, and a 33-pitch third inning ate up a large chunk of those.

On the bright side, he escaped that bases-loaded jam without allowing a run.

“I was proud of myself for getting out that bases-loaded situation,” Skaggs said. “I wish I never would have gotten in it, but I got out of it, and it’s something I can build off.”

Skaggs then came back in the fourth inning and threw a fastball over the inside corner, and Khris Davis blasted it over the left-field fence for a solo homer, the first run of the game.

“Honestly I might have gone to the well too many times on the fastball in,” Skaggs said. “I faced him a bunch. He sees me well. I tip my hat to him. I’m going to get him next time.”

In the fifth, Skaggs gave up two more hits, around a double play, to end his day. Skaggs was visibly frustrated as Manager Brad Ausmus came to get the ball from him in a 1-0 game.

“Not frustration with getting taken out of the game, frustration with myself overall that last inning,” Skaggs said. “I thought I could have made some better pitches. On to the next one though.”

STRATTON’S TURN

Chris Stratton will make his Angels debut with a start on Monday night in Seattle.

Stratton, 28, has a 4.63 ERA in 48 major league games with the San Francisco Giants, including 36 starts. Although he had a 5.09 ERA last year, that also included a five-start stretch with a 2.10 ERA last August and September.

The Angels believe they can unlock some untapped potential. His elite spin rate is just a part of the equation, said Ausmus, who wouldn’t reveal what else the Angels feel they can change.

Stratton, who had been drafted by the Giants, said he’s looking forward to a fresh opportunity with a new organization.

“There are no guarantees in baseball, at all,” he said, “but I’m definitely excited about it. Once the season gets going, it’s not necessarily who is the No. 1 and who is the No. 5. You’re out there competing, so I’m ready to get out there and pitch and learn from some of these guys. There are some great guys in this locker room, so I’m just trying to pick their brains, to be honest.”

ALSO

The Angels are running into the Mariners after they took three of four from the Boston Red Sox, scoring 34 runs in the series. Before Sunday’s game, Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters he was impressed with the Mariners, a team that seemed to be rebuilding over the winter. “I do feel their lineup is a good lineup,” Cora said. “They’ve got balance, guys who put the ball in play. They can run. They can hit the ball out of the ballpark. They’ve got veterans now. There’s a different vibe on that team. More energy compared to last year.” … Right-hander Jesus Castillo cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A Mobile. Castillo had been designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster for Brian Goodwin just before Opening Day.

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