Jered Weaver Aims for AL Wins Lead in Facing Astros


Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It has to be tough being a scoreboard operator for the Angels right about now.

Los Angeles has scored six-plus runs in a single inning four of the last six games. Since dropping two-in-a-row to Houston last week, they’ve averaged nine runs and 13 hits per game en route to a season-high nine-game winning streak that has them 11 games up on second-place Oakland.

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  • Friday night’s victory over the Astros brought a mix of clutch hitting and sheer luck. C.J. Wilson labored through five innings-yielding three runs on seven hits-before Angels’ bats broke out for seven runs in the bottom of the frame. The Halos matched a franchise-high with eighth straight games with seven runs in an inning.

    Colin Cowgill brought two runs home when right fielder Jake Marisnick dropped a routine fly ball. The error opened the flood gates. Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols each drove in runs before David Freese hit a two-run homer.

    By the time Mike Morin relieved Wilson the Angels held a 9-3 lead.

    Oakland’s loss drop the Angels’ magic number to win the AL West to five. With any luck, the division crown comes during next week’s series with Seattle.

    Pitching Matchup: Jered Weaver (16-8, 3.58 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman (8-10, 3.99 ERA)

    “He’s lost velocity.” “The control’s not there.” “He’s not an ace anymore.”

    Just a sample of the criticism placed on Jered Weaver early in the season. While the velocity claim isn’t completely unfounded- his fastball maxes out around 90mph- Weaver’s been dominant nonetheless.

    The right-hander is 9-2 since June 26 and is one victory away from the American League lead in wins. Baltimore was the last team to get more than four runs off Weaver and that was in late July. Since Garrett Richards’ season-ending knee injury, Weaver has pulled off four quality starts, compiling a 2.81 ERA in the span.

    There’s no reason to believe he won’t continue the trend against the Astros He surrendered two runs on five hits against the division rival Sept. 3 but fell victim to the Angels’ limp offense. Weaver is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in four career starts against Houston.

    Scott Feldman knows the Angels all too well. He’s 5-7 with a 4.92 ERAA in 24 appearances, most coming as a Ranger. This season, he’s 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA.

    Feldman tossed 8 1/3 solid innings in Oakland last Saturday but settled for a no-decision after his bullpen blew the lead.

    Walk offs:

    1. Howie Kendrick is hitting .440 (11-for-25) on his nine-game hitting streak.
    2. Albert Pujols’ 45 career home runs against Houston are second-most all-time to Hank Aaron.
    3. Joe Thatcher was activated from the disabled list Friday as missing time with a sprained ankle.

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