Orioles-Angels Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Angels haven't managed to win back-to-back games yet this season.

Handing the ball to Jered Weaver would figure to be a good way to change that.

Weaver looks to extend his personal winning streak to three Saturday night when the Angels continue a weekend series against the visiting Baltimore Orioles.

Los Angeles (5-9) is one of baseball's early disappointments, and the club has followed each of its wins with a loss as it struggles to find consistency.

"It ain't how you start, it's how you finish. That's how you've got to look at it," right fielder Torii Hunter said. "For the guys in here who have been around, there's no panic right now. Trust me. We know there's time. I mean, if you got to 50 or 60 games and you're 10 games out, that would bother me."

Hunter may also have some confidence knowing Weaver (2-0, 2.18 ERA) is taking the mound, as the Angels try to build on Friday's 6-3 victory over Baltimore (8-6).

Weaver has been outstanding in his two victories, tossing 14 2-3 scoreless innings with 16 strikeouts. He wasn't nearly as sharp in a 6-5 loss at Minnesota on April 11, allowing five runs in six innings.

The right-hander, however, rebounded in impressive style Monday, retiring the first 11 batters and yielding five hits over a crisp 6 2-3 inning in a 6-0 victory over Oakland.

"He makes it very easy," catcher Chris Iannetta told the team's official website. "To have the command of four pitches like he does, at that point it's just pick your poison really."

Weaver also hit a milestone in his last trip to the mound, striking out six to become the eighth in Angels history to reach 1,000, and the sixth set of brothers with Jeff Weaver (1,214) to reach the mark.

Weaver has a 1.55 ERA in four home starts against the Orioles, but has lost his last two with a 3.00 ERA.

Albert Pujols is looking to rebound from his 0-for-3 effort from Friday after he batted .325 during a nine-game hitting streak.

Despite some recent improvement at the plate, the All-Star first baseman is hitting .276 on the season with four RBIs and is still seeking his first homer in an Angels uniform.

Jake Arrieta (1-0, 2.66) will try to keep Pujols' drought intact as he looks to win for the first time since a 4-2 victory over Minnesota on opening day.

The right-hander turned in another strong outing Monday, allowing four runs - two earned - with a season-high seven strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of a 10-4 win in 10 at Chicago.

"Jake was the difference," manager Buck Showalter said. "(His outing) will be forgotten, but he was outstanding. It's very encouraging the way he pitched again."

Arrieta will make his first start at Angel Stadium and his second overall against the Angels. He allowed two runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 5-4 win Aug. 5, 2010.

Nolan Reimold is providing Baltimore with some punch at the plate, batting .405 (17 for 42) with five homers, 10 RBIs and nine runs in a 10-game hitting streak.

The left fielder is 6 for 14 in his last three visits to Anaheim, and doubled in his only at-bat against Weaver.

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