Looking to continue their outstanding play over the past month, the Los Angeles Angels make a brief stop on their 10-game trip in a rescheduled contest from a mid-June postponement.
With Jered Weaver seeking his 16th victory, the AL West-leading Angels try for their longest road winning streak of the season while denying the Cleveland Indians a fourth straight victory Monday.
Los Angeles (86-55) owns the best record in baseball and a seven-game division lead after winning 19 of 25 since Aug. 12.
The Angels have one of the best ERA in the majors at 3.08 – behind Cleveland’s 2.36 mark – over that span, though it was the offense that keyed their first four-game sweep in Minnesota since 1964.
MVP candidate Mike Trout hit his 32nd home run and added a double in Sunday’s 14-4 win at Target Field. Howie Kendrick went 3 for 4 with a home run and a triple to finish 10 for 18 with eight RBIs in the series.
Trout has gone 8 for 20 with two homers, a triple, three doubles, five walks and seven RBIs this season against the Indians.
Los Angeles has totaled 34 runs while hitting .340 during its season high-tying four-game road winning streak. The club has also hit well versus Cleveland (74-67), totaling 34 runs while winning four of the six meetings.
"We’ve been winning ballgames," Kendrick said. "I think that’s kind of the key thing, whether we get a lot of hits or a couple of hits, all it comes down to is winning the game."
Now, Josh Hamilton could return after missing three-plus games with soreness in his right shoulder. The former AL MVP is batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs.
Weaver (15-8, 3.56 ERA) looks to bounce back from his first defeat in nearly a month after he allowed two runs over six innings Wednesday but received little run support in a 4-1 defeat at Houston.
The right-hander is 7-3 with a 2.24 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Indians, though he took the loss in his most recent outing at Progressive Field on June 16. He surrendered four runs over six innings in that contest after giving up two over 5 1-3 in a 6-4 home win April 29.
Carlos Santana is 3 for 6 with two home runs in 2014 and 10 for 20 lifetime when facing Weaver. David Murphy, who made his first start in more than a month Sunday, is batting .140 in 57 career at-bats in the matchup.
Michael Brantley has a .413 average during an 11-game hitting streak after he went 2 for 3 with an RBI in Sunday’s 2-0 home victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland is within five games of AL Central-leading Kansas City.
Danny Salazar (6-6, 3.80) can add to his 17-inning scoreless streak after he scattered eight hits in his first career complete game Wednesday. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter in a 7-0 home win over Detroit.
"Right now, this month, we need to win as many games as we can," Salazar told MLB’s official website. "These are really important ones."
Salazar gave up one run over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-1, 14-inning road win in his only outing against the Angels on Aug. 20, 2013.
J.B. Shuck, who homered off the right-hander in that contest, is now with Cleveland after the Indians acquired him off waivers Friday.