Downs left the team on Sunday night, traveling to his Kentucky home while being placed on the family medical emergency list to deal with a health issue involving one of his three children. The 36-year-old left-hander wouldn't discuss the specifics of that situation, saying only that "everything's going in the right direction."
Downs believes the time away will help him narrow his focus down the stretch.
"It's going to be a lot easier now," he said. "I've been a little sidetracked the last little bit, but that's part of life. Sometimes you have to put things in perspective, and the Angels, they were great in understanding what needed to be done. I was able to go home, get some stuff cleared out, and now I'm back and ready to go."
Downs, a valuable left-handed complement to Ernesto Frieri in the back end of a struggling bullpen, has been charged with 12 earned runs in eight innings in the second half, giving him a 3.08 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP for the season.
He threw on a couple of days during the four Angels games he missed, but he also spent the first half of August on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder and may need a little time to get back in a flow.
"He's going to throw a little touch-and-feel out there now and just get acclimated," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said pregame. "I think in a perfect world, you'd like to give him an inning where he [could get his stuff together]. But as I said, we're going to use him as we need him."