Angels-Twins Preview

BY foxsports • April 16, 2016

The Los Angeles Angels' Jered Weaver had plenty of problems last season on the road, where he gave up plenty of homers - an issue that may not be a concern against baseball's lowest scoring team.

He'll try to add to the offensive woes of the Minnesota Twins, who picked up their first victory of 2016 ahead of Saturday's middle game of this series.

Weaver (1-0, 1.50 ERA) went 3-10 with a major league-worst 6.01 ERA on the road last season, with his 10 defeats tying for the most in baseball. He was the first starter in three seasons to finish with a road ERA higher than 6, and his 18 homers allowed tied for the majors' second-highest road total.

The right-hander will be up against a Minnesota club that has scored 19 runs to rank last in the majors with an AL-worst four homers.

The Twins (1-9) weren't complaining about not going deep for a fourth straight game after ending their winless start with Friday's 5-4 victory. They scored two runs in the seventh inning to tie it before Byung Ho Park's go-ahead RBI double in the eighth.

''The energy was there,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''Once we got on the board a couple times, obviously we saw the fight to find a way to win.''

It marked the first time Minnesota topped three runs in a game while Los Angeles (5-5) had its four-game win streak snapped with its first road defeat in four contests.

Eduardo Nunez went 3 for 3 on Friday in his second start after he had a 4-for-4 effort in his first one Sunday at Kansas City.

It's not clear if Nunez will be back in the starting lineup since the infielder was subbing Friday for the slumping Brian Dozier, who rested thanks to a .152 average.

Weaver is 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA in last eight starts against the Twins, who he did not face last year. Kurt Suzuki, who is in a 2-for-23 slump, is a .288 hitter versus Weaver and Dozier is 2 for 10.

The Angels starter cruised in giving up a run in six innings in Sunday's 3-1 home victory over Texas in a season debut pushed back because of neck and shoulder problems.

"I was happy to get back out there. I pitched like I did the last 11 years," he said. "My arm slot is coming back. There's no tightness in my shoulder, no tightness in my back, no tightness in my hip, so I'm feeling healthy."

Weaver will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 1.29), who is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts against the Angels. Albert Pujols is 13 for 25 with three homers against him and Yunel Escobar is 11 for 31.

Nolasco allowed one run in seven innings and was in line for the victory in his first start of the year before the bullpen blew a two-run lead in Sunday's 4-3, 10-inning defeat to Kansas City.

He'll be up against an Angels team that has produced five homers to rank second-worst in the AL, although Pujols and Kole Calhoun went deep Friday.

Escobar has hit safely in six straight, going 10 for 24.



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