The Seattle Mariners hope facing his former team will help Jeff Weaver overcome his early struggles and snap their five-game losing streak Sunday in the finale of a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium.
Weaver (0-2, 15.75 ERA) will make his first start against the Angels since they traded him to St. Louis on July 5, after he went 3-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 16 starts in less than one season with Los Angeles.
With St. Louis, Weaver bounced back to go 5-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts and won the World Series-clinching Game 5 for the Cardinals.
Weaver signed a one-year deal with Seattle (5-8), but was roughed up in two starts. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in six innings of the Mariners’ 11-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.
“You look up there and see seven runs and 10 hits and say, ‘How can you be encouraged by that outing?’” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said of Weaver, who allowed seven runs in two innings at Boston on April 10.
Weaver is 5-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 12 games—10 starts—against the Angels.
Sunday, Weaver will try to help Seattle avoid being swept by the Angels (8-9). Los Angeles won 7-6 on Saturday for its sixth straight home win over the Mariners dating to last season.
Los Angeles’ Ervin Santana (1-2, 7.63 ERA) is looking to continue his dominance at Angel Stadium. The right-hander is 9-13 with a 6.78 ERA in 27 career starts on the road, but is 20-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 starts at home. He is 5-0 in his last seven starts at Angel Stadium and beat Texas on April 4.
Santana, though, was tagged for seven runs and seven hits in four innings of a 7-2 loss at Boston on Monday. He is 1-2 with a 6.56 ERA in four starts against the Mariners.
“He really didn’t have the command he needed to get ahead of guys to hold down a good lineup,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Santana’s last outing.
Saturday, Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer and Bartolo Colon allowed one run in seven innings to win his 2007 debut for Los Angeles, which has totaled 15 runs and 26 hits en route to consecutive wins after losing six straight.
Guerrero has homered in both games and is 4-for-7 with four runs scored and three RBIs while raising his average to .392. One of his two hits in nine at-bats against Weaver is a home run.
Ben Broussard had a pinch-hit grand slam during a five-run eighth inning for the Mariners on Saturday, but Francisco Rodriguez converted his sixth save in six opportunities after the Angels bullpen allowed five runs in two innings, one game after allowing four in three innings in Friday’s 8-4 series-opening win.
“We have a tremendous amount of confidence in our bullpen,” Scioscia said. “They’ve opened up the doors a little bit late in some games, and you’re going to run into things like that from time to time.”
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-5 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He is hitting .419 (13-for-31) during that span, and .321 overall.
The Mariners could be without catcher Kenji Johjima after he left Saturday’s game with a bruised right calf. Johjima is hitting .368 (14-for-38) in 2007.