Now, he hopes to solidify that position as the streaking Angels open a four-game series with the visiting Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Sele, who went a combined 15-20 as a starter for Anaheim over the previous two seasons, began this year in the Angels bullpen after losing a spring training battle for the fifth spot in the rotation to fellow right-hander Ramon Ortiz.
However, Ortiz faltered badly in the first month of the season, going 1-3 with a 9.28 ERA. When righty Kelvim Escobar had his start Saturday pushed back due to a split nail on the middle finger of his pitching hand, Sele stepped in and rose to the challenge.
He yielded just two hits while striking out two and walking one over five strong innings, helping Anaheim to a 1-0 victory at Minnesota. The performance earned Sele another shot in the rotation and relegated the struggling Ortiz to bullpen duty.
“I feel like I’m a starter and that comes much more naturally than being in the bullpen still,” said Sele, who was making his first start since Sept. 26.
“I thought I earned the starting role in spring.”
On Wednesday, the Angels won their fifth in a row by completing a three-game sweep of Detroit with a 6-3 victory. Jose Guillen homered and drove in three runs and Troy Glaus belted his 10th homer of the season for Anaheim.
The Devil Rays lost the finale of their series at Texas 6-1 on Wednesday, squandering yet another chance to finally record their first back-to-back wins of the season.
Tampa Bay has gone 26 games without consecutive victories, tying the seventh-longest drought ever. Detroit went 30 games without winning two in a row last season en route to a 43-119 record.