Oakland (11-11) at Los Angeles (12-10)

Cloudy Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Mon Apr 25, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jered Weaver(notes) is looking like an early front-runner for the AL Cy Young Award.

The Los Angeles Angels badly need another top performance from him right now.

Weaver goes for his sixth win in as many starts and tries to help the Los Angeles Angels avoid a five-game skid Monday when they begin a three-game home series against the Oakland Athletics.

Weaver (5-0, 1.23 ERA) leads the majors in wins, the AL in ERA, and has struck out a major league-leading 39 in 36 2-3 innings. Opponents are batting .150 against him.

With another win Monday, he can become the first pitcher to earn six in his team’s first 23 games since 2002, when Randy Johnson(notes) did it for Arizona.

“It takes a lot to get off to a start like this,” Weaver told the Angels’ official website.

The right-hander pitched a complete game against Texas on Wednesday, limiting the Rangers to six hits while striking out eight in a 4-1 victory.

The Angels (12-10) haven’t won since, getting swept in a four-game home series by Boston over the weekend. They were outscored 20-5 and batted .158 in the series, getting shut out in the last two contests including a 7-0 defeat Sunday.

“It’s tough to define roles in the lineup when guys aren’t playing up to their potential,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re not there yet. A lot of guys are struggling, and we need to reverse that.”

The Angels haven’t dropped five straight since a seven-game skid last April 30-May 6.

Weaver went 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts versus the Athletics last season. Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki(notes) is 10 for 29 with four doubles and a homer off him.

Oakland (11-11) will try to keep the Angels’ bats cold and post its third straight win. After a three-game losing streak that included back-to-back shutouts, the Athletics have 14 runs and 22 hits in their last two games.

Josh Willingham(notes) drove in three runs and Coco Crisp(notes) had his second straight three-hit game and scored three times in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over Seattle.

“When he gets rolling, our offense takes off. There’s no doubt,” A’s manager Bob Geren said of Crisp, who was hitting .213 before the last two games.

Crisp is 1 for 17 against Weaver with six strikeouts.

The Athletics will also give the ball to a pitcher with a sub-two ERA in Gio Gonzalez(notes) (2-1, 1.80).

After allowing one run over 19 innings in his first three starts, the left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 5-3 loss to Boston on Wednesday. He struck out a season-high nine.

“You can see from the way he throws, he may not end up with an ERA where he’s at now, but that’s some pretty good stuff,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the Athletics’ official website. “That’s a young left-hander that doesn’t look like his arm hurts - nice and free and easy and the big breaking ball and enough velocity on the fastball. That’s a tough guy to beat.”

Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA in five starts versus the Angels. He won both of his starts against them last year.

Los Angeles has taken six consecutive meetings between these clubs in Anaheim, and four in a row in the series overall.

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Starting Pitchers

G. González Was vs. J. Weaver LAA
16-12 Record 18-8
3.12 ERA 2.41
197 K 198
91 BB 56
1.32 WHIP 1.01


Monday, Apr 25