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Angels righty Guerra keeping lefties in check

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Deolis Guerra's splits against right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters couldn't be more different this year, but also not in the way you'd expect.

On the season, lefties are hitting .091 (1-for-11) against the right-handed Guerra, and righties are hitting .333 (4-for-12). His splits favored right-handed hitters last year, at .288 by righties to .210 by lefties.

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ARLINGTON -- Deolis Guerra's splits against right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters couldn't be more different this year, but also not in the way you'd expect.

On the season, lefties are hitting .091 (1-for-11) against the right-handed Guerra, and righties are hitting .333 (4-for-12). His splits favored right-handed hitters last year, at .288 by righties to .210 by lefties.

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Angels manager Mike Scioscia has noticed. Guerra may not be your left-handed specialist, but he's pitched like one so far.

"It's something we've noticed for a while since we got him," Scioscia said. "I think his stuff naturally plays well against lefties, and he's trying to expand that repertoire and consistency to be more effective against righties, because that's where a lot of the damage has come from."

On Friday, Guerra pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning against the Rangers, striking out two and recording the win. But of the five hits Guerra has allowed on the year, three have been home runs.

In six appearances this season, Guerra has thrown 41 changeups, 38 fastballs and 22 cutters, according to BrooksBaseball.net. It's that third pitch Scioscia says the 28-year-old Guerra needs to finetune to have a bigger role and fix some issues against righties.

"He's been very comfortable against lefties because of his ability to get angle on his fastball and get it in good spots with his changeup," Scioscia said. "He's got a cutter that will help him, once he harnesses it, against righties, which he's had trouble with."

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Deolis Guerra