Meyer happy with fastball command vs. Texas

Rotation candidate's heater was regularly in 95-98 mph range

Meyer happy with fastball command vs. Texas

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Alex Meyer looked sharp in the Angels' 6-5 loss to the Rangers at Surprise Stadium on Friday, further proof that he has put his disastrous second Cactus League outing firmly behind him.

Meyer yielded one run on four hits while walking one and striking out two over three innings in his fourth appearance of the spring, throwing 51 pitches. The 27-year-old right-hander's ERA now stands at 4.70, though it was inflated by his rocky outing against the Cubs on March 6, when he walked four and allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning.

"I just wanted to go in and kind of build off the other day," said Meyer, whose fastball regularly hummed at 95-98 mph. "Two outings ago was never how anybody plans on something going, so I wanted to go out there and prove to myself that obviously you're better than that. I was definitely happy with how today went. I thought my fastball command was really good."

Meyer faced some trouble in the second inning, when he gave up back-to-back singles to Ryan Rua and Joey Gallo to open the inning. Gallo was subsequently caught stealing, but Meyer then walked James Loney and allowed an RBI double to A.J. Jimenez. Still, Meyer rebounded by retiring the following two batters to end the second and did not permit any additional damage in his final inning of work.

Top Prospects: Meyer, LAA

"That was a tremendous outing for him," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think as the game went on, his command of the breaking ball got better. But that was really good stuff he showed."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Jesse Chavez allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out three over 4 1/3 innings in a Minor League start against the Cubs on Friday. Chavez, who likely will open the season as the Angels' fifth starter, threw 68 pitches in the outing.

• Left-hander Manny Banuelos saw his 6 2/3-inning scoreless streak end Friday when he gave up a two-run homer to James Loney in the fourth. Banuelos, who relieved Meyer, surrendered a leadoff double to Gallo before Loney crushed a first-pitch fastball to right field. The 26-year-old southpaw allowed two runs on four hits over two innings with two strikeouts.

"I think after the first two hitters -- they ambushed him -- he settled in and made some pitches," Scioscia said. "The way he can spin the ball is important, but he's going to have to run that with some fastball command to be effective. But his stuff was good."

• The Angels optioned right-hander Brooks Pounders to Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, bringing the number of players in Major League camp to 52. Pounders, acquired from the Royals in an offseason trade, had recorded a 7.50 ERA over six innings this spring.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.