Los Angeles (54-36) at Texas (47-44)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Wed Jul 9, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Due to mounting injuries, the Texas Rangers’ pitching staff is in shambles. Jered Weaver, meanwhile, is solidifying what had already been a strong Los Angeles Angels’ rotation.

Weaver looks to continue his resurgence for the Angels, taking the mound against the Rangers on Wednesday night as the teams continue their four-game series.

Texas (47-44) gave Matt Harrison his first major league start Tuesday night in the second game of this series, and the 22-year-old left-hander gave the Rangers a strong effort in a 3-2 win. Harrison was forced to fill in with starters Vicente Padilla (neck, thumb) and Eric Hurley (hamstring) on the disabled list.

Kevin Millwood and Luis Mendoza are the members of the Rangers’ opening-day rotation currently in it.

Now, Texas will hand the ball to Michael Ballard, who has never pitched in the majors. The Rangers will become the first team since Milwaukee in 2002 to have consecutive starting pitchers making their first big league appearance.

Ballard has spent all season in Double-A Frisco, where he was 8-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 starts. He will be the 12th different starting pitcher for Texas this season - the highest total in the majors.

“We’ve got to try to adjust the best we can,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “That’s what’s so beautiful about baseball. You adjust and readjust and adjust and readjust and as soon as you stop adjusting and readjusting, you might as well go home.”

Los Angeles (54-35), meanwhile, boasts a 3.67 ERA by its starting pitchers. That rotation has helped give the Angels a five-game lead in the AL West.

Weaver (8-8, 4.17 ERA) has the worst ERA among Angels pitchers with at least 10 starts, and it was as high as 5.59 on May 7. However, he has given up two runs or fewer in four of his last five outings.

On Friday night, the 25-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and six hits while striking out six in 7 1-3 innings of Los Angeles’ 8-2 victory over Toronto.

Weaver defeated the Rangers on April 5, giving up three hits and striking out six in seven shutout innings as the Angels won 2-1.

“Obviously, if you do well, you’re going to try not to change it up too much,” Weaver told the Angels’ official Web site. “I’ll go back and check the tape, see what worked for me and what didn’t and go from there.”

Weaver is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in seven career starts against Texas. He has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts versus the Rangers, spanning 14 innings.

Texas, though, has now won three of four overall.

Rangers right fielder Josh Hamilton drove in his major league-leading 87th run on Tuesday. He has 11 RBIs in his last 11 games.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver LAA vs. W. Madrigal WAS
11-10 Record 0-2
4.33 ERA 4.75
152 K 22
54 BB 14
1.28 WHIP 1.39


Wednesday, Jul 9