seemed to pitch two different games in Monday's 5-1 loss to the
, a seven-inning start that was a microcosm of a month in which the
' 22-year-old left-hander has alternated between brilliance and turbulence.
Skaggs needed 49 pitches to get through the first two innings, in which he gave up five runs — two earned — and six hits and allowed three stolen bases, as many as he had yielded in his first 58 2/3 innings this season.
Skaggs needed 49 pitches to get through the next five innings, in which he allowed no runs, one hit and struck out five, giving the Angels a chance to mount a comeback — which Mariners right-hander
"Most pitchers would look at the scoreboard and think that was a rough outing," Angels catcher
Next came an eight-inning, two-run, four-hit win over Toronto, a six-inning, five-run, eight-hit no-decision against Tampa Bay, a seven-inning, one-run, five-hit win over Houston and Monday's loss, which dropped Skaggs to 4-2 with a 3.97 earned-run average.
"It's not much different from what you'd expect from a young, talented arm that is trying to make footprints in the major leagues," Scioscia said. "I don't think he's been up and down. He's kept us in just about every game he's pitched. Some have gotten away, but I think he's throwing the ball very well."
Skaggs didn't beat himself up over what some might consider an erratic month.
"Personally, I think I've had a great month," Skaggs said. "I feel like I'm throwing the ball well, throwing the ball down in the zone for strikes. Some games, I've let some innings balloon up. But that's part of learning. I'm 22. Slowly, but surely, I'm figuring it out."
James Jones opened the first inning with an infield single, and
"I saw Howie running, and I saw Albert," Skaggs said. " I didn't know if Albert was coming toward home. It was a bad play altogether. I had a lot of time, and maybe I thought about it too much and kind of short-armed it. Not my finest moment."
In the second inning,
Jones stole second, Saunders hit an RBI triple to right, and Cano's RBI single made it 5-0. Cano stole second, and Justin Smoak walked before Skaggs struck out
"They all went on the first move," Skaggs said of the stolen bases. "It's hard to worry about the runner and make pitches at the same time. I figured it out at the end. I shortened up my stride a little bit and started throwing more strikes."