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HOU@LAA: Skaggs fans six, lets up one run over seven

SEATTLE -- Tyler Skaggs is 6-foot-4, but he'll be the smaller guy on the mound when he squares off with 6-10 Chris Young at Safeco Field on Monday afternoon.

Skaggs, who held the Astros to one run in seven innings Tuesday, is making his first career start against the Mariners. The 22-year-old has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts this season and owns a 3-0 record and a 1.57 ERA in three road starts.

"I've been going deep in games," Skaggs said. "I'm throwing not as many pitches as in the past, especially last year when I was trying to be too fine. The most important thing is first-pitch strikes. Now hitters are aware of that, and I have to figure out how to adjust to that. It's all about adjustments."

Angels skipper Mike Scioscia wants Skaggs to continue making those adjustments as he matures as a player.

"What we're seeing is consistency. He's a confident kid," Scioscia said. "Consistency is probably the last dynamic of a young pitcher establishing himself. There's got to be adjustments in young pitchers, in how they compete. Obviously, hitters are going to make adjustments. It happens with every pitcher. If you're making pitches and are consistent with it, that's the foundation."

Young, on the other hand, turned 35 years old Sunday and has gotten most of his growing and maturing out of the way. He's struggled of late, allowing 17 hits -- including four homers and five doubles -- in his past two starts with only one strikeout in 13 1/3 innings.

Young, who's skyscraper-esque stature lends him prone to the fly ball, isn't making any excuses for his recent performances.

"Their pitcher pitched in the same stadium," he said after his loss to Texas on Wednesday. "Whether you give up 10 or one, you have to be better than their guy. That's what the game is about, and I wasn't today."

The veteran right-hander, who holds a 3-2 record and 3.53 ERA on the season, will try to snap the Mariners' two-game losing skid.

Angels: Hamilton dealing with setback

Making his way back from thumb surgery, outfielder Josh Hamilton was held out of the starting lineup at Triple-A Salt Lake for the third straight game Sunday.

Hamilton was jammed by a pitch during Thursday's game, but he could return to the Angels during their road trip.

Mariners: Offense still trying to break out

Manager Lloyd McClendon was unimpressed by what he saw offensively from his team in Sunday's 4-1 loss to Houston. The Mariners are ranked 28th in baseball in on-base percentage (.299) and their .236 batting average has them 25th.

"We didn't swing the bats very good," McClendon said after Sunday's game. "At some point, you've got to stop giving credit to average pitchers. That becomes a broken record. At some point, we've got to start swinging the bats."

Worth noting
• The Mariners are 2-2 on their season-high, 11-game homestand after losing to the Astros, 4-1, on Sunday to split the series. They've lost two in a row after winning four of their previous five.

• Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager is 31-for-100 (.310) with six home runs, six doubles, a triple, 13 runs and 27 RBIs in his last 27 games.

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