Angels like what they see from Tyler Skaggs during 8-1 win over Dodgers

Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs is set to resume pitching next week.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Saturday’s final Freeway Series game between the Dodgers and Angels was a matchup of two pitchers who opened this spring on the outside looking in at their team’s rotation.

Angels right-hander Nick Tropeano stayed in that situation and will head to triple-A Salt Lake shortly, while Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood seized on a rash of injuries to his team’s expected quintet to become their fourth starter.

On Saturday night, however, Tropeano outdueled Wood in the Angels’ 8-1 thrashing of the Dodgers at Angel Stadium.

Wood was roughed up in 3 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old did not strike out an Angel, walked two of them, and yielded eight hits and four runs.


His replacement, right-hander Zach Lee, did not fare much better, giving up three runs 31/3 innings.

Perhaps more important to the Angels, in relief of Tropeano they turned to a pitcher who should soon be a part of their starting rotation: left-hander Tyler Skaggs.

In his second appearance since August 2014 Tommy John surgery, Skaggs again impressed, striking out four in three scoreless innings, flashing 94-mph velocity with his fastball and displaying consistent command of his curveball. He gave up one hit, a double.

“I had a ton of fun today,” said Skaggs, who had 30 friends and family members in attendance. “I was extremely nervous running out of the bullpen. It’s great to be back on the mound here. It was surreal.”

Skaggs’ next outing will come at the triple-A level, but it might not be long before he is again pitching in major league stadiums. He should be fit to make a full-length start in a few weeks, and he could challenge right-hander Matt Shoemaker for his rotation spot before April’s end.

Skaggs said he lacked the stamina to throw all-out by his third inning.

“I think he got a little tired, but he’s healthy, and hopefully he’s on his way to coming up here and making our team,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said.

Tropeano, in consideration alongside Shoemaker for a rotation spot until last week, struck out two and gave up five hits in his four innings. He walked two.


Mike Trout missed two games because of a stomach virus, and then returned Saturday night and did not make an out. In three plate appearances, he walked once and doubled twice, driving in three runs with the latter hit.

Albert Pujols pulled a three-run home run just inside the left-field foul pole in the sixth inning. . The Angels scored their other runs on an RBI double from first baseman C.J. Cron and a solo home run from pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi.

The Dodgers’ only run scored on a double play groundout from Scott Van Slyke, who was playing first base for the night. Corey Seager doubled and Joc Pederson singled to start the fourth inning off Tropeano, and then Van Slyke tapped the ball to third.

The Dodgers ended exhibition play with a 13-17-3 record, while the Angels improved to 18-8-6 with one more game to play, Sunday at noon against the Chicago Cubs, before the regular season begins Monday night against the Cubs.


Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter: @pedromoura