Three-time All-Star Jered Weaver hasn’t looked anything like one of the game’s best pitchers over the last two weeks.
Weaver and Fister try to get on track as the visiting Los Angeles Angels go for a ninth consecutive win over the Tigers in Thursday’s series finale.
After going 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his first two outings since coming off the disabled list May 29, Weaver (1-4, 4.65) hasn’t looked right. The right-hander has compiled a 6.62 ERA during a three-start losing streak, his longest such stretch since dropping a career worst-tying four straight May 2-18, 2011.
“The last three starts it just kind of seems like there’s one inning that’s a blow-up inning, and I’ve just got to learn to stay away from that,” he said. “It’s frustrating. I’m not doing a whole lot to help the team right now. I just have to keep battling, and hopefully things will turn around.”
Weaver was taken deep twice in Friday’s 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh, allowing four runs and a season-high nine hits in six innings.
“I think right now it’s just command. His velocity isn’t any different than it was last year,” manager Mike Scioscia told MLB’s official website. “Once he starts commanding counts a little bit better and being able to really open up counts for his secondary pitches, he’s going to be fine.”
Regrouping in this game could prove difficult for Weaver, who’s 3-4 in nine starts against the Tigers with a 5.47 ERA - his highest mark against any AL club. Jhonny Peralta is 9 for 25 with a homer and five doubles in their matchups and Torii Hunter is 3 for 9 with two home runs.
Fister (6-5, 3.66), meanwhile, surrendered season highs of six runs and 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings Friday in a 10-6 loss to Boston. The right-hander failed to record a strikeout for the first time in 15 starts this year.
“It was pretty simple to sum it up: I think he wasn’t at his best. However, he also didn’t pitch into very good luck,” manager Jim Leyland said. “If they hit it hard, they got a hit. And if they didn’t hit it hard, they got a hit. It was one of those nights.”
Unlike Weaver, Fister has thrived in the series, going 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his last two starts against the Angels. He allowed three unearned runs and five hits in seven innings in a 4-3, 13-inning defeat at Los Angeles on April 21.
The Angels (35-43) continued their recent mastery of Detroit (42-34) with Wednesday’s 7-4 victory. Mike Trout and Erick Aybar both hit two-run homers for Los Angeles, which has outscored the Tigers 55-21 during its eight-game run in the series.
“If we knew what we were doing differently (against Detroit), we’d probably try to do it against everybody else,” catcher Chris Iannetta said.
Trout has six homers, 16 RBIs and 17 runs in his last 14 games against the Tigers. He’s batting .345 with five homers, 22 RBIs and 27 runs in his last 34 contests overall.
The Angels have won eight of 13 while hitting .309.
“It’s another team that’s a good team, and they’ve been swinging the bats very well lately” Leyland said. “They’re like everybody else.”
Detroit is hoping to avoid its first three-game home sweep since April 24-26, 2012, versus Seattle.
Miguel Cabrera who went 2 for 4 with his 22nd homer Wednesday, is batting .465 with four homers and nine RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.