Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver(notes) doesn’t think it’s significant that manager Mike Scioscia is sending him out on three days’ rest for a crucial game against the division-leading Texas Rangers.
It might not be if Weaver’s teammates continue to produce at the plate.
Following an impressive power display, the Angels will try to cut their AL West deficit to one by claiming Sunday night’s finale of a three-game series in Arlington.
With his team within striking distance of the AL West lead, Scioscia decided to switch up his rotation to send out his three top starters against the Rangers (75-59). That meant Weaver (15-6, 2.03 ERA) and Ervin Santana(notes) would pitch on three days’ rest for the first time in their careers.
“It’s not a big deal,” Weaver told the team’s official website. “Guys used to pitch on two days’ rest. We always mess around about going on short rest. It just came up.”
The Angels (72-60) have hit 17 homers and batted .324 while winning seven of eight. They’ve also outscored opponents 54-32 since falling seven games behind Texas on Aug. 17.
Peter Bourjos(notes) is batting .377 over his last 12 games and has four homers in his last seven, including one Saturday. He and his teammates will try to keep rolling against Colby Lewis(notes) (11-9, 4.07), who is coming off one of his worst starts of the season.
The right-hander was tagged for seven runs over six innings in an 11-5 loss to Boston on Tuesday after giving up four hits over seven scoreless against the Angels on Aug. 18.
“I felt like I did what I normally do, and that’s pound the strike zone,” Lewis told the team’s official website after dropping to 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in his last three home starts. “They put the ball in play and found some holes. I’m the type of pitcher that likes to attack hitters. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Lewis, who did not get a decision in that 2-1 loss to Los Angeles, is 0-2 in his last four starts versus the Angels and has received a combined four runs of support.
Weaver is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his last seven starts against the Rangers and 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four this season. He gave up one run over six innings during the game in Anaheim on Aug. 18 but also didn’t receive a decision.
Weaver followed by allowing four hits over seven innings and striking out eight during an 8-0 win over Chicago on Wednesday, one day after receiving a five-year contract extension. Another win would help him match his 2009 career high.
Weaver, though, wasn’t as effective in his previous game in Arlington on May 13, giving up four runs over six innings in a 4-1 loss.
Elvis Andrus(notes) had a solo homer and an RBI single off Weaver in that game, and is 10 for 14 versus the right-hander this season. The rest of Texas hitters are a combined 16 for 97 with David Murphy(notes), who has homered in consecutive games, going 0 for 9 with three strikeouts.