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Meyer's effort provides Angels a silver lining

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Angels continue to display their faith in Alex Meyer's potential, and in recent starts, the young right-hander has rewarded the club.

In his latest performance, Meyer (2-2, 4.91 ERA) spun six-plus innings, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out four batters in the Angels' 4-2 loss to the Twins on Thursday. The outing marked Meyer's second quality start of the season (the other, a 4-1 win over Detroit on May 14), and his first appearance since being activated from the 10-day disabled list, which he landed on May 24 with back spasms.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels continue to display their faith in Alex Meyer's potential, and in recent starts, the young right-hander has rewarded the club.

In his latest performance, Meyer (2-2, 4.91 ERA) spun six-plus innings, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out four batters in the Angels' 4-2 loss to the Twins on Thursday. The outing marked Meyer's second quality start of the season (the other, a 4-1 win over Detroit on May 14), and his first appearance since being activated from the 10-day disabled list, which he landed on May 24 with back spasms.

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"Physically, I feel fine," said Meyer. "I didn't feel restricted by anything, so from that aspect, everything was good."

Unhindered, Meyer seemed locked in from the start. He finished the game throwing 51 strikes on 84 total pitches. Angels manager Mike Scioscia commended Meyer's effort to pound the strike zone.

"It's a shame [we lost] because Alex pitched a great game," Scioscia said. "He was trying to get his stuff over the plate, for the most part he did."

Meyer said getting ahead was key to his effort. His aggressive approach was especially apparent during the early innings. During the first frame he hurled a 98.9 mph four-seamer at Twins second baseman Brian Dozier that resulted in a flyout. He exited having averaged 95.8 and 96.1 mph on his two- and four-seam fastballs, respectively, according to Statcast™.

Meyer, who debuted for Minnesota in 2015 and was traded to the Angels on Aug. 1 last season, said, "It was definitely exciting facing the team that I knew a lot of the guys on."

He also said the excitement of returning from the DL motivated his strong performance.

"His stuff looked good," Scioscia said. "I think he had a little rhythm going."

The 2011 first-round Draft pick made a mistake when he left a breaking ball inside to Miguel Sano, who hammered it out of the park for a home run. Aside from that, he was solid, bouncing back from his previous outing against the Mets, when he "really struggled with my fastball against left-handers."

He said he met with pitching coach Charles Nagy, who helped him make a small adjustment to increase his command. Since then, Meyer said, "everything kind of fell into place."

The club is high on Meyer's ability, and with six starts now under his belt, his confidence is beginning to grow. Although, Meyer said he's taking things a game at a time.

"I definitely know, like anything in life, the more you do something, the more comfortable you're going to feel," he said. "I've got a lot of people here pulling for me, trying to help me out to be the best pitcher that I can be. I feel like I'm putting less pressure on myself when I go out there."

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels, Alex Meyer