The last time he started in Toronto, Shaun Marcum(notes) left early with an arm injury. When the 28-year-old right-hander takes the mound at Rogers Centre for the first time in exactly 19 months on Friday, he’ll look for a more extended outing as the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays open a three-game series against the slumping Los Angeles Angels.
After missing 27 games earlier in the season with soreness in his right elbow, Marcum experienced numbness in his right forearm and left after two-plus innings in his last home game Sept. 16, 2008. He missed the rest of 2008 and all of last season following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Marcum (0-0, 3.46 ERA), however, has been solid in two starts in 2010, flirting with a no-hitter in Toronto’s 5-4, season-opening win at Texas on April 5 and yielding two runs and eight hits over six innings in Sunday’s 5-2 victory at Baltimore.
“It’s going to be fun to get back to Toronto,” Marcum told the Blue Jays’ official Web site Sunday after the team completed a 5-1 trip.
Marcum, whose last win came Sept. 11, 2008, is 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA in four career starts against the Angels.
He’ll get the ball following the Blue Jays’ 7-3 victory over the White Sox on Thursday. Led by shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s career high-tying four hits and season-best three RBIs, Toronto split the four-game set and has a chance to improve to 8-3 for the season consecutive season.
Batting .343 with five homers and 10 RBIs, Vernon Wells(notes) has been a major factor in the Blue Jays’ surprisingly fast start. The two-time All-Star, though, hit .185 in eight games versus Los Angeles in 2009.
Making his first start away from Anaheim this season, Weaver looks to get the three-time defending AL West champs back on track after they lost their third straight series. The Angels (3-7) are off to their worst start since opening 3-8 in 2002.
“The heartbeat of our club is starting pitching,” said manager Mike Scioscia after Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees. “We need these guys to get deep into games then it will all start to come together.”
Los Angeles’ starters have surrendered 14 of the team’s 17 home runs.
Weaver, who has been tagged with a homer in each of his two starts, did not factor in the decision in Saturday’s 4-3 win over Oakland. The right-hander allowed four hits and one run during his 111-pitch outing.
“I got into some deep counts, and they added up the pitch count, but everything felt good,” Weaver told the Angels’ official Web site.
Weaver has felt good in six starts against the Blue Jays, going 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
Playing with New York, Matsui hit .373 with six homers and 18 RBIs versus Toronto last season. He is 2 for 15 lifetime against Marcum.
Los Angeles and Toronto split six matchups at Rogers Centre in 2009.