The Los Angeles Angels are enjoying unprecedented success north of the border.
The Angels will try to make it seven straight wins in Toronto when they send Jered Weaver to the mound to face the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Los Angeles (18-17) has recorded its longest road win streak in this series and is halfway to its first four-game sweep in Toronto. Erick Aybar has keyed the Angels’ success in the last six games there with a .357 average, six extra-base hits and six runs.
Weaver (3-2, 3.48 ERA) is 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his last four starts as he looks to improve to 9-2 in his career against the Blue Jays, which would mark his best winning percentage against an AL opponent. He owns a 3.68 ERA in 10 starts versus Toronto.
The right-hander has fared well against several Blue Jays sluggers. Melky Cabrera is 3 for 18 against him, Jose Bautista 1 for 9 and Colby Rasmus 1 for 5. Those hitters have combined for 24 homers this year but have never gone deep against Weaver.
Weaver struck out a season-high seven and gave up one run in eight innings to earn Monday’s 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
He won’t be easy to solve for Toronto (18-19), which struggled against Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs in the first two games. Richards allowed two runs in seven innings in Friday’s 4-3 win and Skaggs gave up three in eight to earn a 5-3 victory Saturday.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons declined to talk to reporters following Saturday’s game but did offer a brief statement through a team spokesman, saying "Skaggs was great, he manhandled us." It’s not clear why Gibbons didn’t speak.
Los Angeles has won nine of 10 overall against Toronto. Aybar is 5 for 10 in this series while the Angels have overcome Mike Trout and Albert Pujols combining for two hits in 16 at-bats.
Manager Mike Scioscia is scheduled to return to the club Sunday after he was absent for the first two games while attending his daughter’s college graduation.
Angels third baseman John McDonald went 1 for 4 on Saturday in his first start in Toronto since his time with the Blue Jays from 2005-11. McDonald was cheered when he entered as a defensive replacement Friday.
"As the days started ticking away and I knew I would be able to make the trip and play in front of the fans, it’s special for me," McDonald told the Angels’ official website.
Toronto starter Drew Hutchison (1-2, 4.17) boasts an impressive 9.66 strikeout-per-nine inning ratio in his first season back after missing all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery. He’s winless in six starts since winning his season debut April 1, though he did pitch a career-best eight innings Tuesday as he yielded five runs in a 6-5, 10-inning victory at Philadelphia.
The right-hander’s first major league defeat came in his lone career start against the Angels, as he gave up four runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-3 loss May 6, 2012. Hutchison went 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA at home in five starts that year, but he’s 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two in Toronto this season.