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Jered Weaver Stands Between Rangers And A Four Game Sweep

So far, so good for the Texas Rangers this week.

The Rangers opened up a four-game series against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday, and won the first two games of the series easily - with Los Angeles' starter failing to escape the third inning in either contest. On Wednesday, the Rangers won again - thanks in part to Mike Scioscia's reluctance to take Ervin Santana out - even after his pitch count finished at 129 in 7.2 innings. 

On Thursday, the Rangers will look to sweep the Angels in Anaheim. To do so, though, they'll have to beat one of the American League's top pitchers this year in Jered Weaver

Weaver has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, with a 14-6 record and microscopic 2.13 ERA and .97 WHIP. Opponents are hitting a meager .207 off of Weaver as well, while he's struck out 153 and walked 41 in 181.1 innings of work. Further, Weaver has posted the fourth highest WAR (5.1) among pitchers in the majors this year, with only Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia ahead of him. 

Weaver has made three starts versus Texas this year, and has gone 2-1 in them, with a 2.05 ERA, .238 BAA and 20 strikeouts against just three walks in 22 innings. 

Colby Lewis will start for the Rangers as they look to increase their AL West lead to eight. Lewis' record stands at 11-8 on the season, with a 4.01 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Lewis has pitched very well this year, but has been undone by the long ball in 2011. Through 152.2 innings, Lewis has surrendered 28 homers - good for 18% of the hits he's allowed. 

First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CDT, 7:05 locally from Angel Stadium in Anaheim. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.