Mets-Angels Preview

Tyler Skaggs’ debut with the Los Angeles Angels was practically perfect.

Now, he’ll look for another dominant performance in his first appearance at Angel Stadium.

Skaggs is slated to take the mound and help the Angels avoid losing their first four home games for the second straight season Friday night against the New York Mets.

The Angels (4-5) re-acquired Skaggs from Arizona in a three-team, four-player trade in December, hoping he could add depth to a rotation that ranked 22nd in the majors with a 4.30 ERA.

The 22-year-old left-hander, a first-round draft pick by Los Angeles in 2009, looked capable of doing more than that Saturday. He dominated Houston, yielding an unearned run and four hits in eight innings of a 5-1 victory.

"I have pitched in the big leagues before," said Skaggs, who was 3-6 with a 5.43 ERA in 13 starts over the past two years with the Diamondbacks. "I took that mindset that I have been here before. The team needs to get in the win column again. A lot of different things to stay relaxed out there."

Skaggs credited his victory to his debut of a two-seam fastball.

"I threw it 90 percent of the time," he said. "That’s why you saw all those 90-91 instead of 93-94. They kept swinging at it, so why not continue to throw it and get outs early in the count?"

Another strong outing to begin this three-game set and six-game homestand could prevent Los Angeles from opening 0-4 at home for a second straight season.

The Angels, though, are back home after winning four of six on the road. They capped the jaunt with a combined one-hitter from Garrett Richards and two relievers in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Seattle.

Albert Pujols is 2 for 12 at home, but he hit safely in each game of the road trip, connecting for two-run homers in each of the last two contests.

The star first baseman is 8 for 18 (.444) with two homers, four RBIs and six runs over his last four meetings with the Mets, but those came in 2011 with St. Louis.

New York is trying to build on Thursday’s 6-4 win at Atlanta to take two of three from its NL East rival.

Eric Young Jr. was key to the success in that series, going 5 for 12 (.417) with five stolen bases and as many runs. The left fielder was 2 for 19 with nine strikeouts over the first five games.

"He’s such a great kid, you root for him all the time, and he showed you he can win games for you," manager Terry Collins said.

Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50) is taking the mound on the road for the first time this year. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA on the road in interleague play.

He also closed out 2013 by winning four straight outings as the visitor with a 2.22 ERA.

Gee gave up two homers over that stretch, and matched that in Saturday’s 6-3 win over Cincinnati. He surrendered the second – a two-run shot – before being pulled with one out in the eighth, but was off the hook for the loss after Ike Davis’ walkoff grand slam.

Gee has held Pujols hitless in three at-bats.

The Mets and Angels have split 12 all-time meetings, but New York has won four of six in Anaheim.