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June 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter (48) hits a two RBI single in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels (33-43) vs. Detroit Tigers (42-32)

Two steps forward, one step back.  That about sums up the Angels’ 2013 season.

Talk about an ugly weekend series.  Mike Scioscia‘s club hits the road after getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates at home.   The Angels travel to Comerica Park to face a Tigers team that usually brings out the best in them.  The last time these two teams met (April 19th for a three game set) the Angels swept the Tigers behind strong performances from Tommy Hanson, Garrett Richards, and Jerome Williams.

This time around the Angels are hoping a combination of Wilson, Hanson and Weaver can do the same against the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers.

Game One:  Crafty nibbler C.J. Wilson (6-5) takes the ball for the Halos.  The Tigers will counter with RHP Rick Porcello (4-4).  The Angels devoured Porcello the last time they faced him – he gave up nine hits and nine earned runs in a one inning rout that was the most offense the Angels had seen up to that point.  According to ESPN, Porcello was the first starting pitcher in Modern Era to pitch 2/3 or fewer innings while allowing 9+ earned runs since Johnny Cueto on July 6, 2009 (2/3 IP, 5 H, 9 ER).

Let’s all hope the Angels’ hitting coach Jim Eppard doesn’t forget to bring his Rick Porcello voodoo doll for this trip to the Motor City.

Game Two:  Tommy Hanson (4-2) will toe the slab for the Angels and face Tigers’ lefty Jose Alvarez (1-0).  Hanson (who has posted a regular season 5.10 ERA) has been fairly inconsistent this season.  During his last outing against Seattle, Hanson was replaced with Garrett Richards after facing four batters in the third inning without recording an out.  The Angels squeaked out the win but no thanks to Hanson.  He had put together back-to-back wins with solid outings heading into his last outing.  Here’s hoping he can return to form against the Tigers.

Game Three:  Jered Weaver (1-4) will face Detroit’s Doug Fister (6-5) in the rubber match of the series.  It’s no secret that Weaver hasn’t been very Weaver-esque this season.

According to ESPN, Weaver has given up 13 runs over his last three starts (17.2 innings) with just a 12:5 K:BB ratio and hasn’t quite been himself since coming off of a 45-day stint on the disabled list.  He’s also given up four home runs in his last three outings, and the opposition has feasted on him with a total of 22 hits in that span.

Detroit is a tough ball club but the Angels have notoriously matched up well with the Tigers.

The good news is that Fister (like Weaver) has struggled this season.  The Boston Red Sox weren’t kind to Fister during his last outing - Fister was lit up for six runs on 11 hits, walking one while not recording a strikeout and lasting just 3.1 innings in a 10-6 loss to Boston on Friday night.

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Tags: Angels C.J. Wilson Detroit Tigers Jered Weaver Los Angeles Angels

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