Angels’ Reid Detmers aims for elusive first win vs. Astros

MLB

Los Angeles Angels left-hander Reid Detmers will make the third start of his major league career on Sunday afternoon in the series finale against the Houston Astros in Anaheim, Calif.

Detmers, 22, is counting on his experience from the first two outings to get him that first victory.

The numbers from Detmers’ first two starts don’t look all that good — he is 0-2 with a 10.61 ERA. But the organization’s No. 2-ranked prospect took some positives out of his most recent start last Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Detmers gave up five runs in the first two innings before settling down to toss three subsequent scoreless innings in an 8-2 loss to the Dodgers.

“Obviously, you look up at the scoreboard and see five runs, it’s never a good feeling,” Detmers said. “But I know in my head that I felt good. Every pitch felt good coming out. I just need to execute a little bit more.”

Even though the numbers aren’t all that different from his first start — six runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings versus the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 1 — Detmers said his mindset improved dramatically.

“I was a little bit nervous and was trying to overthrow every pitch,” he said of the start against Oakland. “(Against the Dodgers), I was more calm and felt good. I executed most of my pitches. I just got unlucky a couple of times and need to execute a little bit better and things will work out in my favor.”

The Angels haven’t had much go in their favor of late. They have lost six of their past eight games, including the first two contests of the three-game series. Houston, which has won four in a row, posted a 4-1 victory in the opener on Friday and an 8-2 triumph on Saturday.

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (9-3, 3.22) will be on the mound Sunday hoping he can bounce back from his first loss in a month. McCullers gave up four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings last Sunday against the Minnesota Twins, matching a season high with two home runs allowed.

“I thought my stuff was fine,” McCullers said of that performance. “A hit’s a hit, it is what it is, but seven of the eight or six of the eight were extremely weak contact. You’re talking 70-, 80-mph hits. It’s kind of one of those things, you’ve got to roll with the punches. Other than the (Miguel) Sano at-bat (a home run), I didn’t feel many of the balls were coming off the bat with much intent. Just a lot of well-placed balls.”

Against the Angels, though, McCullers has been on point. He gave up two runs and three hits in six innings of a no-decision on April 25, then allowed just one run and three hits in eight innings of a 5-1 victory on May 11.

In 15 career starts against the Angels, McCullers is 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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