Weaver will make one final tuneup before the postseason Friday night when the Angels go on the road and try to hand the Oakland Athletics a fifth straight loss.
Los Angeles (94-65) will face Boston for the third year in a row after being ousted the last two seasons by the Red Sox. Scioscia has yet to announce his rotation, but he has confirmed that Ervin Santana(notes) will be pitching out of the bullpen.
That leaves John Lackey(notes), Weaver (15-8, 3.84 ERA), Scott Kazmir(notes) and Joe Saunders(notes) as his four starters. Lackey threw just 40 pitches over two innings in Thursday’s 10-3 home loss to Texas and appears to be the choice to start Game 1.
Weaver left his last outing Friday against Oakland (75-84) with back stiffness, but indicated he would be ready to pitch Wednesday against the Rangers. Scioscia, though, pushed him back in preparation for the postseason, and Weaver is expected to be on a pitch count Friday.
“You treat it the same way,” Weaver told the Angels’ official Web site. “You still take the winning mentality out there, but at the same time you’re trying to clean some stuff up to get everything mechanically sound going into the playoffs.”
The right-hander fell to 0-3 with a 4.66 ERA in his last three starts after allowing two runs over six innings in the outing against Oakland - a 3-0 loss. He fell to 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA in three starts against the Athletics this year.
The Athletics finished in a tie for the majors’ fifth-best record in September at 17-10, winning two of three last weekend in Anaheim. Oakland, though, has dropped four straight after a 4-2 loss in Seattle on Thursday and has clinched its first last-place finish since 1998.
The A’s are 1-5 at home against the Angels, hitting .219 with 35 strikeouts in those games.
Rookie Gio Gonzalez(notes) (6-6, 5.73) will make his second start of the year against Los Angeles after turning in an outstanding effort in the first one. He yielded four hits over 6 1-3 innings to outduel Weaver on Sept. 25.
“We were talking before the game about feeling that competitive attitude, just going out there and trying to attack,” Gonzalez said. “I had all three pitches working tonight, which I was grateful for.”
The left-hander is 2-4 with a 6.85 ERA in nine home starts.
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