Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Jered Weaver (6-2, 1.87) Texas - Alexi Ogando (3-0, 2.17)
(Sports Network) - Angels starter Jered Weaver has hit a bit of a rough patch since winning his first six outings of the season. He'll try to regain his form against a team he dominated nearly a month ago when Los Angeles begins a three-game series against the hosting Texas Rangers in Arlington.
Weaver pitched to a 0.99 earned run average over his 6-0 start and became the first hurler since Randy Johnson in 2002 to win six games over his club's first 23 contests. However, the right-hander has since given up seven runs over back-to-back losses.
In a loss to Cleveland on Saturday, Weaver was charged with four runs over six innings and failed to strike out a batter for the first time in his career in a game in which he pitched at least six innings.
"Sometimes you go out there without your best stuff and battle. In the fourth and fifth inning I got away from my game plan. You have days like that. Sometimes you have to tip your cap," said Weaver, who is still tied for the most wins in baseball and is tied for the second-best ERA in the American League at 1.87.
The Rangers would rather face the Weaver from six days ago than the one that dominated them back on April 20, when the 28-year-old threw a one-run complete game, striking out eight and working around six hits. That improved Weaver to 8-4 with a 3.27 ERA in his career versus the Rangers.
Weaver will look to get the Angels back on track after they suffered a 6-4 loss to the White Sox in 10 innings on Wednesday. Chicago scored the go-ahead run in the final frame on a wild pitch uncorked by reliever Kevin Jepsen, who was trying to intentionally walk Chicago's Paul Konerko.
"This was a tough loss," said Howie Kendrick, who scored one of Los Angeles' four runs and is batting .412 (14-for-34) over his past eight games.
Torii Hunter had two hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Angels, who lost for the third time in eight games and lead the AL West by 1 1/2 games over both the Rangers and Athletics. Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo both ended with two hits and an RBI, with Aybar now hitting .370 (17-for-46) over a 10- game hitting streak.
The Angels will take their swings tonight against Alexi Ogando, who is ready to go for the Rangers after having his last start skipped to let a blister on his right index finger heal.
A full-time reliever last year, Ogando is 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in six starts and has allowed more than two runs in an outing just once this season. The right-hander has not factored into the decision of his last two starts, including May 3 in Seattle despite giving up a run on five hits over six innings with six strikeouts.
The 27-year-old is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts at home and makes his first career start versus the Angels tonight. However, he has yet to allow a run over 7 2/3 innings of relief against them, yielding just four hits with eight strikeouts.
Texas appeared to be on its way to a second straight victory on Wednesday, jumping out to a 7-0 lead over Oakland before the game was postponed after 3 1/2 innings and a two-hour, 14-minute delay due to weather. No makeup date was set, but the game will be replayed in its entirely, wiping out a Rangers' offensive explosion that included Mitch Moreland's first career grand slam.
"I barreled it up," Moreland told Texas' website. "It's not fun [to lose the grand slam], but at the same time, that's part of it. You can't control the weather and what happens."
Moreland will try to stay in the zone despite the setback as he has seven hits in his past 13 at-bats for the Rangers, who have won just three of their last 10 games.
Texas will also be playing its first game since Nolan Ryan was approved as the club's controlling partner.
The Angels took two of three at Texas in April after dropping seven of the 10 as the guest in last year's season series.