The last time Jered Weaver won five straight starts, he was a
rookie breaking in with the Los Angeles Angels.
Five years later, the right-hander looks to accomplish that feat
again while trying to become the majors’ first five-game winner
Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers.
Weaver (4-0, 1.30 ERA) has allowed four earned runs and 13 hits
while striking out an AL-leading 31 in 27 2-3 innings this season.
He joins Cliff Lee in 2008, Esteban Loaiza in 2003 and Bret
Saberhagen in 1998 as the only pitchers over the past 20 seasons to
win their first four starts and not allow more than four hits in
any of those outings.
He last won five straight starts in 2006, when he won the first
seven of his career.
“It’s obviously great to get off to a good start,” Weaver told
the Angels’ official website. “Deception, changing speeds, hitting
the (catcher’s) – that’s what it’s all about.”
He allowed two earned runs in seven innings of a 4-3 win at
Chicago on Friday.
“He’s really good,” White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham
said. “Even from last year … I feel like he’s even better. His
ball cuts. And the way he lets it go out of his hand, it cuts even
Though Weaver went 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA in six starts overall
against the Rangers last season, he was 0-1 with a 6.11 ERA in
three at Arlington. However, he allowed five runs in 13 innings of
his last two there.
While Weaver hopes to help the Angels (11-6) build on Tuesday’s
15-4 win, they could be in for a challenge against scheduled
starter Matt Harrison (3-0, 1.23 ERA) in the series finale between
the AL West co-leaders.
Relegated to the bullpen after going 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in six
starts to open last season, Harrison has allowed three earned runs
and 14 hits in 22 innings in 2011. He yielded two runs and induced
six double plays over eight innings of a 5-3 win at New York on
“He (keeps) the ball down,” New York’s Curtis Granderson told
the Rangers’ official website. “That’s what you teach pitchers.
When you go ahead and want to make ground-ball outs, you make
pitches down in the zone.”
Harrison went 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in five relief appearances
against the Angels last season, but will make his first start
against them since 2008. He is 1-0 with an 8.10 ERA in two starts
versus Los Angeles.
Maicer Izturis is only 1 for 4 against Harrison, but batting
.388 this season. The versatile Angels infielder, who homered
Tuesday, is 12 for 21 the last five games.
Izturis could move to either second base, third or serve as the
designated hitter with shortstop Erick Aybar expected to come off
the disabled list Wednesday. Aybar was 5 for 12 in three games when
he suffered a strained left oblique.
Rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo homered and drove in four runs
Tuesday as the Angels bounced back from Monday’s 7-1 loss to Texas
(11-6) to win for the 10th time in 13 games. Trumbo is batting .350
with two homers and six RBIs the last five games.
Texas’ Ian Kinsler had two hits for the second straight night to
raise his average to .213.
Coming off their first loss in eight home games, the Rangers
have dropped five of seven overall since starting 9-1.