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Skaggs gives Halos much-needed innings

Southpaw allows two runs in seven-plus to earn win over Jays
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Tyler Skaggs gave his club exactly what it needed Saturday. Less than 24 hours after the Angels' bullpen was taxed with 9 1/3 innings of relief, Skaggs became the first L.A. starter to pitch into the eighth inning, holding the Blue Jays to two runs through seven-plus frames in Saturday's 5-4 victory at Angel Stadium.

The 25-year-old southpaw appears to have put his early season struggles behind him. After yielding five earned runs in each of his first two starts, Skaggs has put together a strong showing in consecutive outings. He followed up seven scoreless innings in Kansas City last weekend with Saturday's promising performance.

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ANAHEIM -- Tyler Skaggs gave his club exactly what it needed Saturday. Less than 24 hours after the Angels' bullpen was taxed with 9 1/3 innings of relief, Skaggs became the first L.A. starter to pitch into the eighth inning, holding the Blue Jays to two runs through seven-plus frames in Saturday's 5-4 victory at Angel Stadium.

The 25-year-old southpaw appears to have put his early season struggles behind him. After yielding five earned runs in each of his first two starts, Skaggs has put together a strong showing in consecutive outings. He followed up seven scoreless innings in Kansas City last weekend with Saturday's promising performance.

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"He's getting a chance to get his feet on the ground, get into the season," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Sometimes you need a little time, I think his pitches and his ability to repeat them and be more consistent with them has improved, really with every outing from start to finish. He put it all together tonight."

Skaggs' outing was an encouraging sign for the Angels, who will be without Garrett Richards for an extended stretch. Richards, who has been sidelined with a right biceps strain since his season debut on April 5, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list prior to Saturday's game. L.A. entered the game with a 28th-ranked starters' ERA of 4.72.

"I knew coming in that I have to throw my allotment of 100 pitches and try to go as far as I can," Skaggs said. "The team really picked me up and helped me out a lot."

Video: TOR@LAA: Simmons belts grand slam, gives Angels lead

Skaggs ran into early trouble, surrendering a walk and back-to-back one-out singles to Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak in the first inning, but settled in to limit the Jays to five hits and one run over his remaining six-plus frames. Skaggs exited in the eighth after surrendering a leadoff double to Ryan Goins, who later came around to score on Kevin Pillar's two-run blast.

Skaggs benefited from a stellar defensive display by the Angels, who turned four double plays throughout the night. 

Video: TOR@LAA: Calhoun, Simmons flash leather in victory

"First inning, I didn't feel that great, but I made some adjustments and my team backed me up," Skaggs said. He credited Andrelton Simmons, who hit his second career grand slam and was a part of three double plays, for much of Saturday's success.

"All I've got to do is keep the ball on the ground, and he makes it a lot easier on me," Skaggs said.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Angels on Saturday.

Los Angeles Angels, Tyler Skaggs