Jered Weaver's dominance at home dates back to last year, and a back injury hasn't slowed him down at any venue.
He's been so strong, in fact, that he could become the first pitcher in 11 years to start back-to-back All-Star games.
Last year's AL Cy Young runner-up, Weaver (9-1, 2.13 ERA) is 13-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 21 home starts over the last two seasons.
The right-hander has won all five of his decisions in Anaheim this year - highlighted by a May 2 no-hitter against Minnesota - with a 0.70 ERA and a .134 opponent batting average.
He's been so dominant at Angel Stadium that he's only yielded three earned runs there all season. All three came against Baltimore (45-38) on April 21, though that wasn't exactly a weak outing. Weaver went the distance in that contest, allowing five hits to earn a 6-3 victory - his third straight winning start versus the Orioles.
Weaver has been even better overall since returning from a strained lower back that landed him on the disabled list for three weeks. He's won all three of his starts - two on the road - while yielding one run in 19 2-3 innings, and earned a third consecutive trip to the All-Star game.
He has a chance to become the first pitcher to start back-to-back Midsummer Classics since Randy Johnson did it representing Arizona in 2000 and 2001.
"If it happens, it happens," Weaver told the Angels' official website. "Just to be a part of it is an honor in itself, but I think that if (Texas Rangers manager Ron) Washington picks one guy to start the game, it's a pretty big honor."
Washington isn't ready to divulge who will get the nod for the AL.
"I have an idea on who I want to be as the starting pitcher," Washington said, "and I'll let that be known when the time comes."
In the meantime, Weaver will try to help the Angels (46-38) rebound from Friday's 3-2 loss to the Orioles after taking the opener of this series 9-7 on Thursday night.
Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo will join fellow Los Angeles representatives Weaver and left-hander C.J. Wilson at Tuesday's All-Star game in Kansas City. Trout and Trumbo hit solo homers to account for Friday's Angels runs.
Trout is batting .415 with five homers and seven stolen bases in his last 16 games.
The Orioles, winners of three of four, will give the ball to Jason Hammel (8-4, 3.43), whose attempt to reach his first All-Star game fell short when the Rangers' Yu Darvish won the final fan vote.
"I think he'd love to go to the All-Star Game, and we'd like for him to go there," manager Buck Showalter told the Orioles' official website, "but also I think his arm could stand the time (off)."
Hammel has lost his last two starts while surrendering 12 runs and 15 hits in 10 innings, including a 13-1 home defeat opposite Weaver on June 27. In by far his worst performance of the season, Hammel surrendered eight runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings while Weaver gave up one run in 6 2-3.
Hammel's only appearance in Anaheim was a loss with Tampa Bay on Sept. 18, 2007.
Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer for Baltimore on Friday. He's 4 for 11 with two homers and four RBIs in four games against the Angels this season.
- Jered Weaver
- Los Angeles Angels
- Baltimore Orioles