Red Sox-Angels Preview
Jered Weaver had few problems with a Boston Red Sox lineup that
included Adrian Gonzalez last week, so there’s little reason to
suspect he’ll struggle in Tuesday night’s rematch.
His Los Angeles Angels hope there’s at least one high-priced
first baseman on the field in Anaheim.
Albert Pujols is aiming to return as the Angels look to follow a
sweep of the Red Sox by ending a seven-game home skid against
Weaver (16-3, 2.74 ERA) will face Clay Buchholz again after
their matchup Wednesday proved to be no contest. The Angels ace
allowed two runs over seven innings at Fenway Park, while his
teammates got seven runs and 12 hits off Buchholz in a 7-3
Pujols, though, left that game with an injured right calf and
hasn’t played since. The Angels finished their sweep in Boston with
a wild 14-13, 10-inning win Thursday, but they totaled seven runs
while dropping two of three in Detroit over the weekend without
their superstar slugger, who is batting .387 with four homers and
10 RBIs in his last eight games.
“When Albert is ready to play, he’s going to play,” manager Mike
Scioscia said. “We’re not holding him out to get him ready for the
stretch. If he was available and could play, he would be
The Angels (66-62) are already feeling some urgency as they try
to stay within striking distance of a wild-card spot in the AL.
They’re chasing Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Oakland and the Tigers.
Losing seven of nine at home has not helped matters, especially
with Weaver suffering two of those defeats. The right-hander was
14-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his previous 21 outings in Anaheim before
his back-to-back home losses.
His most recent performance there – he allowed nine runs in
three-plus innings Aug. 17 against Tampa Bay – looks like an
extreme aberration. Weaver has been sharp against Boston at home,
posting a 1.80 ERA in seven starts including postseason while
allowing two runs or fewer in each.
The Red Sox, though, haven’t lost in Anaheim since dropping the
first two games of their 2009 AL division series there en route to
being swept in their most recent playoff appearance.
Boston (62-67) begins a nine-game West Coast trip after shipping
three of its highest-paid players to California. The Red Sox sent
Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers along with
Nick Punto over the weekend, turning toward the future amid a
massively disappointing season.
They also won’t have David Ortiz on this trip after the
designated hitter went back on the disabled list Monday, although
he hopes to return this season after getting an injection for his
strained right Achilles.
He also said he wants to be back with the Red Sox in 2013.
“For years I always keep telling everyone I want to be part of
this organization,” he said. “This is what I know. I know we’ve had
a lot of injuries this year. I know how hard it’s been.”
Boston is also hoping Buchholz (11-4, 4.47) can help anchor the
rotation next year.
The right-hander is trying to bounce back after a rare rocky
outing. He had been 7-1 with a 2.19 ERA in his previous 12 starts
before getting roughed up by the Angels, and he’s 4-1 with a 2.38
ERA in his last six road starts.
Reliever Alfredo Aceves is expected to rejoin the Red Sox in
Anaheim following a three-game suspension for conduct detrimental
to the team, although it’s unclear if he’ll regain the closer role
with Andrew Bailey healthy.