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Skaggs throws sim game, eyes return to rotation

ANAHEIM -- Tyler Skaggs, sidelined since June 6 with a right hamstring strain, took a big stride toward returning to the Angels rotation by throwing the equivalent of four innings in a simulated game on Saturday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

Facing teammates Collin Cowgill, John McDonald and Grant Green, Skaggs threw his full repertoire of pitches "as hard as I could," and felt no pain in the hamstring. He is unsure how he sustained the strain while facing the Astros on June 5 in Houston, taking a loss to put his record at 4-4 with a 4.34 ERA in 12 starts.

"Everything felt good," Skaggs said. "The last 25 [pitches] I spotted up. The ball was coming out of my hand the way I wanted. It was good to get in with hitters."

Skaggs hopes he can reclaim his rotation spot next weekend in Kansas City after missing three starts.

"Everything's fine," he said. "I took five days off after I got hurt, because I couldn't move the leg. I didn't pick up a ball. But we worked hard to get back to 100 percent, and I'm looking forward to getting back out there."

Skaggs, acquired in the winter deal sending Mark Trumbo to the D-backs, has held hitters to a .247 batting average, striking out 58 in 76 2/3 innings.

"He looked good," manager Mike Scioscia said. "The last 10 [pitches] were what you'd expect. There's a start [available] in Kansas City. We'll see how he comes out of this, how [pitching coach Mike Butcher] feels."

Lyle Spencer is a columnist for
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