Los Angeles (11-6) at Texas (11-6)

Cloudy Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 20, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The last time Jered Weaver(notes) won five straight starts, he was a rookie breaking in with the Los Angeles Angels.

Five years later, the right-hander looks to accomplish that feat again while trying to become the majors’ first five-game winner Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers.

Weaver (4-0, 1.30 ERA) has allowed four earned runs and 13 hits while striking out an AL-leading 31 in 27 2-3 innings this season. He joins Cliff Lee(notes) in 2008, Esteban Loaiza in 2003 and Bret Saberhagen in 1998 as the only pitchers over the past 20 seasons to win their first four starts and not allow more than four hits in any of those outings.

He last won five straight starts in 2006, when he won the first seven of his career.

“It’s obviously great to get off to a good start,” Weaver told the Angels’ official website. “Deception, changing speeds, hitting the (catcher’s) - that’s what it’s all about.”

He allowed two earned runs in seven innings of a 4-3 win at Chicago on Friday.

“He’s really good,” White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham(notes) said. “Even from last year … I feel like he’s even better. His ball cuts. And the way he lets it go out of his hand, it cuts even more.”

Though Weaver went 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA in six starts overall against the Rangers last season, he was 0-1 with a 6.11 ERA in three at Arlington. However, he allowed five runs in 13 innings of his last two there.

While Weaver hopes to help the Angels (11-6) build on Tuesday’s 15-4 win, they could be in for a challenge against scheduled starter Matt Harrison(notes) (3-0, 1.23 ERA) in the series finale between the AL West co-leaders.

Relegated to the bullpen after going 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in six starts to open last season, Harrison has allowed three earned runs and 14 hits in 22 innings in 2011. He yielded two runs and induced six double plays over eight innings of a 5-3 win at New York on Friday.

“He (keeps) the ball down,” New York’s Curtis Granderson(notes) told the Rangers’ official website. “That’s what you teach pitchers. When you go ahead and want to make ground-ball outs, you make pitches down in the zone.”

Harrison went 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in five relief appearances against the Angels last season, but will make his first start against them since 2008. He is 1-0 with an 8.10 ERA in two starts versus Los Angeles.

Maicer Izturis(notes) is only 1 for 4 against Harrison, but batting .388 this season. The versatile Angels infielder, who homered Tuesday, is 12 for 21 the last five games.

Izturis could move to either second base, third or serve as the designated hitter with shortstop Erick Aybar(notes) expected to come off the disabled list Wednesday. Aybar was 5 for 12 in three games when he suffered a strained left oblique.

Rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo(notes) homered and drove in four runs Tuesday as the Angels bounced back from Monday’s 7-1 loss to Texas (11-6) to win for the 10th time in 13 games. Trumbo is batting .350 with two homers and six RBIs the last five games.

Texas’ Ian Kinsler(notes) had two hits for the second straight night to raise his average to .213.

Coming off their first loss in eight home games, the Rangers have dropped five of seven overall since starting 9-1.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver LAA vs. M. Harrison Phi
18-8 Record 14-9
2.41 ERA 3.39
198 K 126
56 BB 57
1.01 WHIP 1.28


Wednesday, Apr 20