Los Angeles (68-44) at Baltimore (47-67)

Fair Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 46° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 14, 2009
  • TV: FSW, MASN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Considering the way the Los Angeles Angels performed without a pair of .300 hitters, having Torii Hunter(notes) and Macier Izturis return to the lineup this weekend will be a bonus.

Opening a 10-game road trip, the major’s best-hitting team will try to continue its strong play against one of the worst-pitching clubs, the Baltimore Orioles, on Friday night.

After getting shut out by Texas on Sunday, the Angels bounced back by outscoring Tampa Bay 24-12 during a three-game home sweep. Los Angeles (68-44) also had 10 or more hits in each game, giving the team 30 double-digit performances in 43 games since June 24.

That showing against the defending AL champions came with All-Star center fielder Hunter continuing to rehab from a groin injury, while Izturis missed most of the last two games after getting hit by a pitch Tuesday.

Hunter has batted a career-best .305 despite being limited to 77 games, while Izturis has hit a career-high .301 in 80 for the AL West leaders, who lead the majors with a .289 average and are one of two clubs to score more than 630 runs.

Starting in their places, Gary Matthews Jr.(notes) and Howie Kendrick(notes) hit three-run homers in Tuesday night’s 10-5 victory, but both could be on the bench during this weekend’s series.

Izturis is expected to play Friday, and Hunter could start for the first time since July 7 on Saturday night.

“We’re very excited to see how these guys are going to fit it,” manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels’ official Web site. “We’ve had a lot of guys play well in the absence of Vlad (Guerrero) and Torii.”

No Angels pitcher has benefited more from his hitters than right-hander Jered Weaver(notes) (12-3, 3.73 ERA), who will try to match a career high for wins and earn his sixth straight victory.

Weaver, who hasn’t lost since June 20, has posted a 5.37 ERA during his streak but received 9.1 runs per outing, the best support in the majors in that time. However, he has recorded 11 strikeouts while winning back-to-back starts and had his best outing during his streak Saturday against Texas, allowing two runs and five hits over 7 1-3 innings.

Weaver will face a Baltimore team that’s lost 10 of 13 and scored three or fewer runs in five straight games, including Wednesday night’s 6-3 loss to Oakland.

The Orioles (47-67) also have a 5.02 staff ERA, third-worst in the majors, and they have allowed the Angels to hit .314 while losing five of six matchups, including a two-game sweep at Camden Yards on April 28-29.

Rookie right-hander Chris Tillman(notes) (0-0, 5.19) makes his fourth career start in Friday’s game. Tillman gave up season lows for runs (two) and hits (four) over a career-high 6 2-3 innings Saturday in Toronto, but exited with the game tied in Baltimore’s eventual 3-2 loss in 10 innings.

“I thought he made some quality pitches, especially late in the game,” manager Dave Trembley told the Orioles’ official Web site. “He pitched good enough, obviously, to win the game.”

In addition to their dominance this season over Baltimore, the Angels have won eight of 11 at Camden Yards since 2007.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver LAA vs. C. Tillman Bal
16-8 Record 2-5
3.75 ERA 5.40
174 K 39
66 BB 24
1.24 WHIP 1.55


Friday, Aug 14