Angels P Peters out to impress against Red Sox

Dillon Peters didn't figure into the Los Angeles Angels' major league plans for the 2019 season, but a good showing in fill-in duty has both Peters and the Angels optimistic about the left-hander's future with the club.

Peters (3-2) will celebrate his 27th birthday on Saturday with a start on the mound for the Angels against the visiting Boston Red Sox, another opportunity to show he belongs in the rotation.

Peters was drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2014 and reached the big leagues in 2017. But after struggling with the major league club in 2018, he was designated for assignment before ultimately being traded to the Angels for a minor leaguer.

He pitched out of the bullpen in three games in April for the Angels before returning to Triple-A Salt Lake. Back with the Angels for one appearance on June 8, he earned a victory with a strong 5 2/3 innings against the Seattle Mariners before going back to Salt Lake again.

He was called up to the Angels for good on July 21 and has shown an ability to pitch deep into games, at least by the Angels' pitching standards this season. He gave up three runs in a season-long 7 2/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 2, and he has pitched at least six innings in three appearances.

Peters doesn't throw exceptionally hard -- his fastball tops out in the low 90s -- but he can be effective when mixing his pitches and getting ahead in the count.

"The fastball-curveball mix, occasional changeup to righties," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "When he throws strikes he can be tough on guys. His curveball is a tough pitch to square up. I give credit to him."

Peters faced the Red Sox on Aug. 8, giving up three runs on five hits and one walk in six innings, striking out eight. He was hurt by the long ball, giving up home runs to Sam Travis and Sandy Leon. However, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts were a combined 0-for-7 against him.

The Red Sox have not announced a starter for Saturday's game, but they are expected to go with a "bullpen game," using a combination of relievers. Or they could make a roster move and bring up a pitcher from the minors, considering they used eight pitchers in Friday's 15-inning game -- a 7-6 victory in Anaheim.

The Red Sox and Angels split a four-game series in Boston in their only other meetings this season in early August, including a Red Sox 16-4 win on Aug. 9 that marked their third-highest run total in a game this season.

While offense has not been a problem for Boston this season, they are hoping Jackie Bradley Jr. can continue to swing the bat as well as he has been lately. He's hitting just .221 this season, but has five home runs in his past 12 games, including a 478-foot blast in Colorado on Wednesday.

"With him, we all know it starts with one swing," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He hits a homer the other way and he starts getting locked in, but there's a few things he needs to do better. He knows it. Cut down on the strike zone, keep controlling the strike zone, because that's the most important thing. When he makes contact, it's loud and gives himself a chance."

--Field Level Media
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