Angels-Twins Preview

The Associated Press

Following a rare setback during their outstanding run, the Los Angeles Angels appear to be in a good position to bounce back with Jered Weaver facing a team he's dominated recently.

Those Minnesota Twins are simply trying to avoid the longest home losing streak in franchise history.

Weaver looks to win his fifth straight decision against the struggling Twins on Monday night when visiting Los Angeles goes for its 13th win in 17 games.

Although the Angels (67-75) are way out of contention as they wrap up a very disappointing season, solid pitching and timely hitting has keyed this late hot stretch.

"They're playing hard," manager Mike Scioscia told the league's official website. "It's been fun to watch these guys rebound from the depths of what's been a very frustrating season."

They've batted .333 with runners in scoring position during the 12-4 stretch despite going 2 for 10 in a 4-3 loss to Texas on Sunday. Kole Calhoun, who went 2 for 4 with a home run in the defeat, is 8 for 12 with 10 RBIs with runners in scoring position over that span.

"He's a strong little guy," Scioscia said. "What his numbers will end up being, that's just going to be a function of him just continuing to put good swings on the ball.''

Los Angeles' pitchers have a 2.71 ERA over the last 16 games and Weaver (9-8, 3.33 ERA) has been instrumental to that success.

The right-hander has limited opponents to a .158 batting average while posting a 1.71 ERA in his last three starts. He surrendered three runs over seven innings in a tough-luck 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

Weaver hasn't lost to the Twins (61-80) since Aug. 22, 2010. He's 4-0 with a 2.51 ERA in six starts since, including a no-hitter May 2, 2012, at Anaheim. Weaver has allowed one run and five hits over 23 innings while winning three straight starts against them.

This time, he faces a Minnesota team that has dropped 10 straight home games for the first time since Sept. 15-29, 1957, when the franchise was the Washington Senators.

The Twins, who have averaged 2.0 runs during the skid, haven't lost 11 in a row at home in franchise history.

"That's terrible, to be honest with you,'' infielder Brian Dozier said. "We're not playing very good. Offense, defense, anything.''

Minnesota, however, has had success at Target Field against the Angels, winning five of the last seven meetings dating back to last season.

The Twins will also try to avoid their fifth straight loss overall behind left-hander Pedro Hernandez (3-1, 5.19), who makes his second start since getting recalled from the minors Aug. 30.

He fared well against light-hitting Houston on Tuesday, giving up two runs and six hits over six-plus innings in a 9-6, 12-inning road win.

Hernandez will have to contend with Mike Trout, who is 15 for 33 during a 10-game hitting streak. He's also 8 for 16 with four doubles and five RBIs in four career games at Target Field.

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