After having their longest winning streak of the season snapped, the Angels try to get back on the winning track when they play the finale of their four-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Los Angeles (16-12) had won four straight games and 10 of its last 12 before falling 3-1 to Kansas City on Wednesday, when Esteban German’s three-run homer in the seventh provided the Royals’ offense.
“One pitch ended up being the ballgame,” said Mike Scioscia, who needs one victory to pass Bill Rigney as the Angels’ winningest manager.
Weaver (1-2, 5.40 ERA) began Los Angeles’ four-game win streak Saturday, when he threw 5 2-3 innings, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out five in a 3-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.
The performance was reminiscent of his 2006 rookie season when he went 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA. It was also a vast improvement from Weaver’s first two starts of 2007, when he gave up eight earned runs through 7 2-3 innings in back-to-back defeats.
The right-hander, who began the season on the disabled list while recovering from biceps tendinitis in his throwing arm, feels he is finally finding his groove.
“I’m feeling pretty good right now, but obviously I would say one or two starts, get some innings in, get some pitches in and extend it out a little bit,” Weaver said. “I’d say one or two more starts and I should be back to where I want to be.”
Weaver is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA and .167 opponent batting average in two career starts versus the Royals.
Kansas City (9-19) had no problem at the plate Wednesday as it tallied 12 hits, with each of the first four batters recording two. The Royals, who snapped a three-game skid, are now trying to win back-to-back games for only the second time this season.
They’ll send Gil Meche (2-1, 2.18) to the mound looking for his fifth straight quality start. The right-hander allowed no earned runs and 10 hits over six innings while striking out five in an 8-3 win over Seattle - his former team - on Saturday.
“In terms of getting after it and doing what was needed it was probably his best grittiness all year,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said.
Meche, who spent his first six seasons with the Mariners before signing a five-year, $55 million deal with the Royals in the offseason, has not allowed an earned run in three of his last four starts.
He is 5-2 with a 5.38 ERA in 15 career starts versus the Angels.
Los Angeles third baseman Maicer Izturis (sore right hamstring) could return to the lineup Thursday after missing three games, but left fielder Garret Anderson (sore right hip flexor) is expected to be sidelined for his sixth straight contest.
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