Angels-Mariners Preview

Aaron Harang finally put up a solid performance in the month of

August.

Now, the right-hander seeks his first win in more than a month

as his Seattle Mariners try to avoid being swept by the visiting

Los Angeles Angels in Sunday’s finale.

Harang (5-10, 5.49 ERA) got off to a terrible start in August,

posting a 12.75 ERA through his first three starts. He suffered

from forearm tightness in his third outing.

On Monday, Harang showed a different side, allowing one run in

seven innings against the A’s before Oakland won 2-1 in walk-off

fashion.

“(Harang) was good, his elbow was fine, no tightness,” said

Robby Thompson, who served as the interim manager while Eric Wedge

recovered from a stroke. “He mixed in his breaking ball and moved

his fastball around. A very nice outing for him. Too bad it was

spoiled at the end.”

Looking for his first win since July 22, Harang can’t be too

thrilled to see the Angels (57-71) on Sunday. He’s 0-3 with a 10.03

ERA against Los Angeles this season and has allowed five homers in

11 2-3 innings.

Josh Hamilton has hit two of those, and is 5 for 7 against

Harang in 2013. Erick Aybar (3 for 6) and Mike Trout (4 for 6) have

also fared well versus Harang this season.

Trout’s homer in the first inning was all the Angels needed on

Saturday. He hit a two-run blast off Erasmo Ramirez and J.B. Shuck

added three hits in Los Angeles’ 5-1 win.

The Angels now turn to Jered Weaver (7-7, 3.62) as they look for

their first sweep since taking all three in Houston in the final

three days of June.

Weaver went 4-0 with a 1.49 ERA during a five-start stretch from

July 19 through Aug. 9, but he’s been hit hard in his last two

outings. The right-hander surrendered nine runs in five innings at

Yankee Stadium on Aug. 14, then allowed four in six frames of a 5-2

loss to Cleveland on Monday.

All four runs and five of the eight hits came in the fourth

inning.

“Things just got away from me a little bit,” Weaver said. “I was

feeling good all night, and my location was good, but I just had

one blowup inning and it ended up being the difference in the

game.”

Weaver has finally gotten a bit of run support in the second

half – 4.56 per nine innings in seven starts as opposed to 2.42 in

11 outings before the All-Star break – but he hasn’t gotten much

help recently against Seattle. He’s lost four straight starts to

the Mariners (59-69) with just one total run to back him up.

He’s given up five homers over 19 innings in that skid,

including one to Justin Smoak in a 6-0 defeat at Safeco Field on

July 13- his only start versus Seattle this season.

Raul Ibanez is a career .455 hitter (15 for 33) with four homers

off Weaver.

The Mariners have hardly looked like an offensive threat in this

series, though, having scored a single run in the first two

games.

“We spread out some hits here and there, but we never really put

anything together,” Wedge said. “You got to put more heat on them

offensively.”