Angels-Padres Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 18, 2012
The beginning of interleague play might be the ideal way for Jered Weaver to bounce back from his worst start of the season. Weaver hopes to help the Los Angeles Angels continue their interleague success Friday night against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Two starts after throwing a no-hitter, Weaver (5-1, 2.83 ERA) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 13-6 loss at Texas on Sunday. "Nothing you can do but go back out there and do what you know what to do and keep battling," Weaver told the Angels' official website. "That's baseball. You're going to have four or five of those starts a year, it's a given, and it's just a matter of how you bounce back from it." Facing an NL opponent might give the right-hander with an excellent opportunity to make that happen. Weaver is 10-3 with a 2.75 ERA in 18 interleague starts, including 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last eight. He yielded one run in each of his three starts while going 2-0 against the NL in 2011. In his only appearance versus San Diego, Weaver tossed a five-hitter during a 6-0 home win in 2009. Though the Angels (17-22) have split their 22 games with the Padres, they swept the last series in 2009 at Anaheim. Los Angeles is 4-4 in San Diego, but is making its first trip down Interstate 5 since 2000. After tying the New York Yankees with a major league-best 13-5 interleague record last season, the Angels are 152-114 all-time versus NL opponents. Albert Pujols has batted .296 with eight home runs in 28 regular season and playoff games at Petco. After homering once in his first 36 contests this season, Pujols has left the park in each of the last two. His sixth-inning shot provided the only offense in Los Angeles' 6-1 loss to Chicago on Thursday. "We were just trying to get momentum,'' said manager Mike Scioscia, whose team was trying for a third straight win. "We just have to turn the page on this one.'' Pujols is batting .381 (16 for 42) with a homer against former St. Louis teammate and scheduled San Diego starter Jeff Suppan (2-1, 1.69). The 37-year-old right-hander has been a pleasant surprise since the Padres (14-25) called him up from Triple-A Tucson on May 2. After giving up one run and eight hits over 10 innings of his first two starts, Suppan allowed three and six hits in six innings of a 3-2 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday. Suppan, who pitched in Triple-A for Kansas City in 2011, was signed to a minor league contract by San Diego during the offseason. "He's relishing every moment," manager Bud Black told the Padres' official website. "He's not taking anything for granted." Suppan is 5-3 with a 4.87 ERA in 12 starts against the Angels, but has not faced them since 2003. He looks to help the Padres bounce back after managing five hits during an 8-1 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday. San Diego's 125 runs are the second-fewest in the majors. Chase Headley, who had one of those hits, is 5 for 14 (.357) in the last four games. He batted .414 with five RBIs against the AL last season. San Diego's .431 (103-136) interleague winning percentage ranks only higher than Pittsburgh's .384 (81-130).
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