SEATTLE — The Los Angeles Angels are expected to dip down to the minors for Thursday night’s starter in the rubber match of the three-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
With starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs likely to miss 10-12 weeks with a right oblique muscle strain, joining fellow starter Garrett Richards on the disabled list, the Angels will call up 6-foot-9 Alex Meyer from Triple-A Salt Lake to start Thursday, manager Mike Scioscia said.
Meyer was called up for a spot start on April 21 against Toronto and lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks. He did not get the decision in the Angels’ 8-7 loss.
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In four starts this season at Salt Lake, Meyer is 0-0 with a 6.16 ERA, 24 strikeouts and seven walks in 19 innings.
“I think Alex has been really throwing the ball better than some of those numbers indicate down below. You definitely can’t go by ERA in the PCL (Pacific Coast League),” Scioscia said. “But there are some positive things that you want to see if they’re going to carry up to the big leagues.”
Meyer was acquired from the Minnesota Twins last August along with right-hander Ricky Nolasco in exchange for pitchers Hector Santiago and Alan Busenitz. Meyer made five starts last September for the Angels, going 1-2 with 4.57 ERA.
With the injuries in the rotation, Scioscia said he expects Meyer to make more than just another spot start.
“I don’t think we expect it to be one and done,” Scioscia said. “We expect him to get a look. How long that’s going to be, we’ve got to position ourselves to win games. That’s first and foremost what we need to do. So, hopefully he’ll continue to move in a positive direction and will take off with it.”
Left-hander Ariel Miranda (2-2, 3.81 ERA) will be making his sixth start of the season for Seattle. The 28-year-old native of Cuba has been inconsistent. In each of his two losses, Miranda has allowed four runs on seven hits, including a season-shortest three innings in a 4-3 loss to Oakland on April 22.
He bounced back in his last start, allowing one run on two hits over 5 1/3 innings, with a season-high seven strikeouts, in a 3-1 victory at Cleveland.
In three career starts against the Angels, Miranda is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA. Kole Calhoun has four hits in seven at-bats against Miranda, while Mike Trout has a home run, four RBIs and four walks in nine plate appearances.
The first two games of the series have been wild affairs. The Angels won Tuesday’s opener 6-4 in 11 innings — a game in which they went ahead in the eighth but saw the Mariners tie it in the ninth.
On Wednesday, Seattle saw a 4-0 lead disappear when the Angels scored six runs in the sixth, but the Mariners bounced back with four in the eighth and held on for an 8-7 victory.
“That’s a great momentum builder and hopefully it will carry over to tomorrow,” said Mariners center fielder Jarrod Dyson, who had a two-run double Wednesday in the decisive eighth inning. “That’s a great bunch over there. You can’t count them out. That’s a great team, well-coached. We’ve just got to keep playing our game.”