Jered Weaver aims for a ninth straight winning start when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim open a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics this evening at the Coliseum.
The Angels enter this series a half-game back of both the A's and Detroit Tigers for one of the two wild card spots in the American League. However, they stand a good chance of getting closer tonight behind Weaver, who can become the majors' first 15-game winner.
Weaver won his ninth consecutive overall decision Tuesday in Texas, as he allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings to run his record to 14-1 to go along with a major league-best 2.29 ERA.
Over his last 11 starts, Weaver is 9-0 with a 1.85 ERA. He hasn't lost since falling to Texas back on May 13 and the Angels are 16-3 in Weaver's starts this season.
Weaver did not get a decision the last time he faced the A's but pitched well, allowing just a run in eight innings of work. He is 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 22 starts against them.
The Angels have dropped four of their last five games following a series loss to Chicago White Sox over the weekend that culminated with a 4-2 setback Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Torii Hunter and Mike Trout each had an RBI for the Angels, who have lost six of nine as well and have fallen six games back of division-leading Texas in the AL West.
Angels starter Dan Haren gave up one run on four hits over six innings. Jason Isringhausen (3-2) allowed two runs on three hits without recording an out in the seventh for Los Angeles, which fell to 3-4 on a 10-game road trip.
"We knew this was going to be a tough trip," Haren said.
Oakland, meanwhile, lost the final two tests of its four-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays and dropped a 6-5 decision on Sunday.
Josh Reddick hit a three-run homer and Coco Crisp and Derek Norris each drove in a run for the A's, losers in four of their last six games.
Tommy Milone (9-9) was saddled with the loss after allowing all six runs on nine hits over six frames. He struck out four and issued one walk -- an intentional free pass in the fifth. Milone has walked one or fewer batters in each of his last nine starts.
"I couldn't get that one big pitch that I needed," said Milone. "I was leaving balls up over the plate and they were capitalizing on them. Just try to forget about it and move on to the next one."
Heading to the hill tonight for Oakland will be righty Jarrod Parker, who is 7-5 with a 3.44 ERA. Parker lost to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, as he yielded three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Parker did not get a decision against Weaver and the Angels back in May, his only other start versus Anaheim.
Oakland has won five of nine from the Angels this season.