Angels-Indians Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 01, 2012
Despite having missed three weeks with a back injury, Jered Weaver has made a good case in his last two outings to start the All-Star game for the American League. A visit to Cleveland has the chance to improve those odds. Weaver looks to win his third straight start overall and remain unbeaten at Progressive Field when the Los Angeles Angels open a three-game series against the Indians on Monday night. Weaver (8-1, 2.31 ERA) was one of four Angels named to the AL All-Star team Sunday. The right-hander started last year's Midsummer Classic, and may be in consideration for the honor again with the AL's second-best ERA and the league's lowest opponent batting average at .193. After spending most of June on the disabled list, Weaver has returned in strong fashion. He went six scoreless innings against San Francisco on June 20, then allowed one run and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings of a 13-1 win at Baltimore on Wednesday. Cleveland couldn't muster any runs off Weaver on April 27. He struck out eight while scattering seven hits and four walks over six innings of the Angels' 3-2 loss at Progressive Field. Weaver remained 4-0 in Cleveland while lowering his ERA over seven starts there to 1.75 - 0.31 in the last four. The Angels (44-35) could use a long outing by Weaver after a taxing weekend for their bullpen. Los Angeles earned a four-game split at Toronto with a 10-6 win Sunday, but All-Star C.J. Wilson only made it through five innings. It was the fourth straight game in which the bullpen pitched at least three innings. The Angels' red-hot offense lifted the team again, scoring at least six runs for the seventh time in the last 11 games. All-Star Mike Trout went 2 for 4 with a walk and scored three times, raising his AL-leading average to .339. "He's got all five tools, without a doubt," said teammate Mark Trumbo, also a first-time All-Star. The Indians' offense is also heating up after a promising finish to a 10-game road trip. After losing five of the first six, Cleveland (40-38) took three of four from the Orioles. Shelley Duncan had three hits, including a solo homer, in a 6-2 win Sunday. "A nice bounce back to finish a road trip that started in such an ugly way," manager Manny Acta said. The Indians scored 32 runs in Baltimore after tallying 13 in their previous six games. Duncan went 7 for 16 with two homers and three doubles against the Orioles, while All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had at least two hits in each game, going 9 for 21 with two homers and six RBIs in the series. Cleveland could use more consistency out of former All-Star Ubaldo Jimenez (7-6, 4.69), who will take the mound Monday. After going 6 2-3 scoreless innings at Houston on June 22, Jimenez allowed four runs in six innings of a 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday. In his last six starts, the right-hander has given up four runs or more three times and one run or zero in the other three. Jimenez made his only previous appearance against the Angels in 2009. He allowed four runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings in a 4-3 loss while with Colorado.
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