Michael Roth perfect, earns win in quick MLB call-up

nwhite@thestate.comJuly 6, 2014 

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Michael Roth (41) pitches on Saturday night.

GARY A. VASQUEZ — USA TODAY Sports

There’s something about being called up to the major leagues that brings out the best in Michael Roth.

For the second consecutive season, the former South Carolina standout earned a victory on the day the Los Angeles Angels brought the left-hander up from Double-A Arkansas. Roth threw two perfect innings of relief to pick up the win for the Angels in their 11-5 victory over the Houston Astros Saturday night.

Last season he earned a win in relief over Minnesota in his first outing after getting the call. But he would go on to post a 7.20 ERA over 20 innings in 15 appearances during three separate stints for the Angels.

Needing some seasoning, Roth began this season at Arkansas, where he posted a 7-4 record with a 2.90 ERA in 90 innings over 14 starts and earned a start in the Texas League All-Star game.

But Roth’s stay in Anaheim didn’t last long. The Angels activated reliever Fernando Salas from the disabled list Sunday and optioned Roth back to Arkansas.

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia was impressed by Saturday’s stint against the Astros, when Roth retired all six batters that he faced.

“What we saw out there tonight is the type of pitcher that Michael is,” Scioscia told MLB.com. “Last year, he never really got comfortable up here. At times, he pitched some good innings for us but overall, I think he had to find his game. He went down to find it.”

Roth told MLB.com before Saturday’s game that he hoped to be better prepared after least season’s experience.

“Last year was kind of a learning year for me, learning what I need to do to be prepared to come out of the bullpen versus being a starter,” he said.

While it’s uncertain how long his stay with the major league team will be, Roth has shown with his success this season that Scioscia will have more confidence in him.

“He's definitely found his rhythm and delivered and he's having a great year down in Double-A,” Scioscia said to MLB.com. “We know his makeup is great and, hopefully, it'll translate into when he gets an opportunity up here to have better results.”

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Greer native delivered great results in his four seasons at USC, where he posted a 26-6 record and 1.91 ERA as he helped lead the Gamecocks to a pair of national championships.

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