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Rangers Vs. Angels: Texas Faces Tough Task Against Jered Weaver

LA Angels of Anaheim (11-6) at Texas Rangers (11-6), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Jered Weaver (4-0, 1.30) Texas - Matt Harrison (3-0, 1.23)

(Sports Network) - Jered Weaver takes aim at his fifth straight win to start the season this evening when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim conclude their three-game series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Weaver has been tremendous in the early going for the Angels, as he has allowed just four earned runs and 13 hits, while striking out an American League-best 31 batters in 27 2/3 innings. Of course, he led the AL in strikeouts last season with 233.

He was again terrific on Friday in Chicago, as he held the White Sox to three runs (two earned) and four hits in seven frames. He also fanned four batters, but saw his ERA jump to 1.30.

"It's great to get off to a good start," Weaver said. "They've been giving me some runs and that takes a lot of pressure off."

With his impressive start Weaver joins Cliff Lee in 2008, Esteban Loaiza in 2003 and Bret Saberhagen in 1998 as the only pitchers over the past 20 seasons to win their first four starts and not allow more than four hits in any of those outings.

Weaver, who last won five straight starts back in 2006 as a rookie, is 7-4 lifetime against the Rangers with a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts.

Weaver can only hope for the type of run support the Angels provided on Tuesday, as Peter Bourjos went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, three RBI and three runs scored, helping Anaheim destroy Texas, 15-4. Mark Trumbo hit a two-run home run and drove in four runs while Hank Conger added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored for the Angels, who have won six of seven.

"It's a by-product of a lot of hard work and a lot of good coaching," Trumbo said of the Angels' outburst. "We've been producing with men in scoring position. Tonight was just another example of that."

Matt Palmer (1-0) turned in a solid performance as he gave up just one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts over six innings.

Ian Kinsler went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Yorvit Torrealba hit a solo home run for the Rangers, who have lost five of their last seven. Colby Lewis (1-2) was tagged for four runs on five hits over five innings to take the loss.

"It's just one of those games where it seems everything you do digs yourself deeper and deeper," Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland said.

Texas will pin its hopes tonight on its best pitcher to start the season, left-hander Matt Harrison, who is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Harrison's latest win may have been his most impressive, as he held the New York Yankees to an earned run over eight innings, while inducing six double plays.

He has allowed just three earned runs in 22 innings this season.

Harrison has faced the Halos seven times, but just twice as a starter. Overall he is 2-1 against them with a 5.40 ERA.

Texas was 10-9 against the Angels last season. LA, though, has dropped 14 of its last 21 in Arlington.

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