Tyler Skaggs gives LA Angels big lift when they needed it the most.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 15: Starter Tyler Skaggs
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 15: Starter Tyler Skaggs /

The LA Angels have been struggling mightily to get consistent starting pitching. Tyler Skaggs has been a microcosm of this struggle.

Tyler Skaggs missed more than half the season with various arm injuries and when he returned the LA Angels were hoping he would provide a lift to the team.

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Unfortunately Skaggs has struggled since he returned in early August.  Since his return Skaggs was 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA only making it past six innings one time.  That all changed on Wednesday night when Skaggs took the mound against the Houston Astros.

Skaggs was on his game from the start pitching seven shutout innings giving up only three hits and no runs with five strike outs.  When Skaggs left the game the Angels were leading 9-0 and went on to an important 9-1 victory.

Skaggs got plenty of support early as the Angels scored five first inning runs thanks to three straight run scoring doubles by Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and Andrelton Simmons.  Luis Valbuena capped the outburst with a two-run homer. Later in the sixth inning Justin Upton hit his first home run capping a nine run outburst.

The win kept the Angels just two games back in the wild-card race going into the final game of a three-game series against the Astros. Skaggs’ performance followed up a stellar outing by Garrett Richards on Tuesday night.

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Richards in his second game back since returning an arm injury pitched five innings giving up only one run on four hits.  Richards only took 63 pitches, 45 of them were strikes. He only gave up a second inning run, but unfortunately the Angel bats were quiet against Justin  Verlander managing only one hit and ended up losing 1-0.

While splitting the last two games is not what the Angels would have hoped for giving up only one run in each contest.  However, more importantly for the Angels is the fact that they got back to back strong performances from two starters for the first time in a month when they needed him the most.

If the Angels hope to take a wild-card spot they will need more strong pitching to realize that goal. On Thursday Ricky Nolasco will take the mound in hopes of giving the Angels another strong performance from a starter and hopefully another victory.

For now Skaggs can relish in first victory since April an de hopefully there will be more where that came from down the stretch.