TORONTO -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia has admitted that he didn't know much about right-hander Parker Bridwell before the club acquired him from the Orioles for cash in April. At the time, Bridwell was a middling, fringe reliever who had once contemplated quitting baseball.But Bridwell has been a revelation since
TORONTO -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia has admitted that he didn't know much about right-hander Parker Bridwell before the club acquired him from the Orioles for cash in April. At the time, Bridwell was a middling, fringe reliever who had once contemplated quitting baseball.
But Bridwell has been a revelation since joining the Angels, improbably emerging as the biggest bright spot in a rotation that has been hit hard by injuries. On Friday night, the 25-year-old upstart picked up his fifth win in six decisions after yielding one run over a career-high 7 1/3 innings in a 7-2 win over the Blue Jays.
"He's doing what he's done in games he's been very successful in," Scioscia said. "He had one rough game against Seattle where he wasn't hitting his spots, but pretty much every time out, he's pitching his game and letting other hitters adjust to him. He's using all of his stuff, keeping them off-balance. He did a good job tonight, obviously."
Bridwell scattered three hits while walking one and striking out four, lowering his ERA to 2.83 over nine appearances this season. The Angels improved to 8-1 in games that Bridwell has pitched, snapping their three-game losing streak.
"I wasn't expecting to come up here and do bad by any means," Bridwell said. "But it is the big leagues, and there's always [a thought] in the back of your head where these are the best hitters in the world. But that's part of just being here for whatever many starts I have. That kind of goes out the window now."
Working quickly and efficiently, Bridwell retired the first 11 batters he faced before Josh Donaldson reached on a two-out walk to give the Blue Jays their first baserunner in the fourth. Justin Smoak followed by ripping a single to right field, putting runners on the corners, but Bridwell escaped by inducing an inning-ending flyout from Kendrys Morales.
Bridwell breezed through the next three innings, but he sat on the bench for 16 minutes while the Angels pushed their lead to 4-0 in the eighth. Bridwell came out for the bottom half of the inning with his pitch count at 89, but Scioscia said he thought Bridwell looked a bit tired during his warmup tosses.
Bridwell subsequently surrendered a leadoff double to Darwin Barney, though he got Kevin Pillar to pop out on his 95th and final pitch.
"I think his stuff picked up a little better as he got to the second hitter, but there's no doubt he was losing a little bit of his edge," Scioscia said.
Right-hander David Hernandez relieved Bridwell and allowed Barney to score on an RBI double by Jose Bautista, resulting in Bridwell's only earned run of the night.
Bridwell got his first extended look in the Angels' rotation following the injury to Matthew Shoemaker in June, though his place appeared tenuous at the time. The Angels have four starters on the mend and will likely need to clear some rotation spots in the coming month, but Bridwell is putting together a strong case to stay.
"I'm having a good time," Bridwell said. "I'm trying to stay here day by day. I wake up here every day and tell myself, I'm going to do whatever I have to do to stay here. I'm going to continue to do it and see how it goes."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.