Angels' Santana, Weaver to start on 3 days' rest
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirmed on Friday that he's switching his rotation for the weekend series against AL West-leading Texas, opting to start Ervin Santana on Saturday and Jered Weaver on Sunday.
The right-handers will both be starting on three days' rest for the first time in their careers.
Scioscia opened the three-game series on Friday with 13-game winner Dan Haren. The additions of Santana (9-9) and Weaver (15-6) meant the Angels would send their top three starters against the Rangers.
Texas began Friday two games ahead of second-place Los Angeles. The Rangers had a seven-game lead over the Angels on Aug. 17.
Jerome Williams and Santana were originally scheduled to start Saturday and Sunday, but the Angels had two days off earlier this week and Scioscia decided to juggle the rotation to take advantage of the extra rest for his staff aces.
''For one time around, it's no big deal,'' Scioscia said. ''This is something we consider occasionally. We've done it with guys in the past and it hasn't been an issue. These guys have plenty in their tanks.''
Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher said a lot of thought and research went into the decision, that both Santana and Weaver have gotten stronger as their starts have gone on.
''Looking at the last few weeks how these guys have been bouncing back from their starts, there's zero doubt in my mind and zero doubt in their minds going into this,'' Butcher said. ''We're not trying to pull a rabbit out of our hat.''
The Rangers had dropped five of six entering Friday night. From Tuesday through Thursday, Texas lost three straight to Boston by a total score of 30-7.
But the Rangers insist that the rotation change by their primary division rival would not affect their approach toward the series.
''Bring 'em on,'' Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton said. ''They're good, there's no denying that. So they'll either step up on short rest or they won't.''
''We're not afraid of Santana,'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ''We're not talking about Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. We've faced Weaver and Santana before.''