The highly touted rookie looks for his third straight win since being recalled from the minors when Los Angeles (26-32) meets the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the finale of their three-game series Wednesday.
Weaver (2-0, 1.35 ERA), the 12th overall pick in the 2004 draft, made his major league debut May 27 and allowed three hits with five strikeouts over seven innings of a 10-1 win over Baltimore. He was almost as good in his first road start Friday against Cleveland, taking a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning of a 10-3 win.
“I definitely want to stay up here,” Weaver said after giving up two runs, four hits and striking out eight. “I didn’t expect to start out like this, but I have to give thanks to the offense for taking some pressure off me and with the defense.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the rookie has the right makeup to succeed in the big leagues.
“He’s not afraid to challenge guys. He has shown that at (Triple-A) Salt Lake and now here,” Scioscia said. “His command is terrific for a guy with a complicated delivery, which is why we are every excited about what he can do for us.”
Weaver is trying to become the first Angels rookie to win his first three starts since Jarrod Washburn, now with Seattle, won his first four in 1998.
Seth McClung (2-7, 6.21) will try to avoid his fourth consecutive loss and team-high eighth overall for Tampa Bay (24-35). In 17 innings over his last three starts, the right-hander has given up 16 runs and 18 hits with 10 walks.
McClung has allowed team highs of 49 runs, 77 hits and 39 walks in only 66 2-3 innings this season. Both of his wins, though, have come at Tropicana Field.
His only career start against Los Angeles was a poor one. In a 10-4 loss Aug. 7, he allowed six runs and six hits—including two homers to Tampa-area native Casey Kotchman—and five walks in 2 2-3 innings.
After falling 4-0 in the series opener Monday, Los Angeles recorded a 12-2 rout of Tampa Bay on Tuesday behind Ervin Santana, who scattered two hits over seven innings to beat Devil Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir.
“I don’t care who is pitching for the other team,” Santana said after his first win since May 16. “He has to do his job, and I have to do mine.”
Los Angeles, which ended a four-game skid against Tampa Bay, has scored at least 10 runs in three games this month and is 6-1 this season when reaching that mark.
All-Star second baseman Jorge Cantu went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Tuesday in his return to the Rays after being out since April 24 with broken bone in his left foot. Cantu batted .286 and led Tampa Bay with 28 homers and 117 RBIs last year.
After the game, Tampa Bay activated outfielder Rocco Baldelli from the disabled list. Baldelli missed the entire 2005 season with knee and elbow injuries and his return was delayed after he suffered a strained hamstring in spring training.
Baldelli, Tampa Bay’s first selection in the 2000 draft, hit .404 with five doubles and four RBIs during a 12-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.