Rays-Angels Preview

Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver, a Southern California

native, feels right at home pitching in Anaheim.

So do the Tampa Bay Rays.

Weaver tries to bounce back from his first home loss of the

season Friday night against the Rays, who turn to James Shields to

extend their 33-inning scoreless streak at Angel Stadium.

Tampa Bay (64-54) picked up right where it left off after

shutting out the Angels (62-57) in the final two of a three-game

set last month in Anaheim, taking Thursday’s series opener 7-0.

David Price allowed three hits over seven innings to become

baseball’s first 16-game winner as the Rays bounced back from Felix

Hernandez’s perfect game from Wednesday and moved into a tie with

Baltimore atop the AL wild-card standings. Tampa Bay has won 13 of


The Angels, who are 2 1/2 games out of a wild card, have lost 10

of 15 overall, nine of 10 to the Rays and 10 of the last 12

meetings between the clubs in Anaheim.

Los Angeles defeated the Rays 3-1 at home on July 27, but since

scoring in the third inning of that contest has managed 17 hits

while failing to score over the last 33 innings of the series at

Angel Stadium.

That sort of pitching dominance in Anaheim is typically reserved

for Weaver (15-2, 2.22 ERA), who failed to become the first pitcher

in the majors to 16 wins in his last outing.

Los Angeles had won Weaver’s first nine starts at Angel Stadium

before he allowed three runs and four hits – including a pair of

homers to Jesus Montero – in seven innings of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to

Seattle. Weaver’s home ERA rose to 1.23 – still the best in


The right-hander, who had won nine straight starts before

Sunday, has made 44 starts since the last time he lost back-to-back


This will be his first outing of the season versus the Rays,

against whom he is 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA in seven career starts. He

has a 1.99 ERA in three starts against them at Angel Stadium.

Although Los Angeles has won 17 of Weaver’s last 19 home starts,

one mistake by the three-time All-Star could be costly going up

against Shields (10-7, 4.02).

Shields is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP in his last three

starts after going 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA in his previous seven.

Against Minnesota on Sunday, the right-hander gave up three runs

and five hits in seven innings of Tampa Bay’s 7-3, 10-inning


Shields, who is making his first appearance in the season

series, is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his last five starts against the


This will be his first time facing Albert Pujols, but Howie

Kendrick might be his biggest concern. Kendrick, who is hitting

.352 in his last 14 games, is batting .571 with four doubles in 21

career at-bats against Shields.

While Weaver generally dominates at Angel Stadium, he isn’t the

only Southern California native to shine in his backyard.

Evan Longoria, who was born in nearby Downey and went 2 for 4

with a two-run homer Thursday, is batting .431 with five home runs,

nine doubles and 15 RBIs in 14 career games at Angel Stadium. He is

3 for 8 with three doubles lifetime against Weaver.

The Rays are 8-2 since Longoria returned from a partially torn

left hamstring. They went 41-44 while he was sidelined.

“Just having him in the lineup is a big factor for us because

that other pitcher know where he’s at,” Price said. “And that helps

everybody else.”