The LA Angels of Anaheim turn to Jered Weaver Tuesday in hopes of stopping a four-game slide in the opener of a quick series versus the Chicago Cubs at the Big A.
The Angels were just swept in a four-game series at hands of the Houston Astros and dropped a 2-1 decision Monday night. Joe Blanton had a solid effort go to waste and fell to 1-9 on the season after he gave up both runs in eight innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
"Joe was great tonight and hopefully he's turned the corner," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He is definitely pitching to his capabilities. We're just not doing things on the offensive side. These last four games, the switch has been turned off."
Mike Trout drove in the lone run of the game for the Angels, who have dropped six of eight games since winning eight in a row and hope Weaver can right the ship Tuesday. In Weaver's first game since coming off of the disabled list because of a fractured left elbow, he earned the win in a 4-3 decision versus the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday.
Weaver struck out seven and walked none, while holding the Dodgers to a run in six innings of work. The right-hander was asked about his velocity afterward.
"It's in there somewhere," Weaver said. "It's just a matter of getting that arm strength back and maintaining it."
Weaver is now 1-1 in three starts to go along with a 3.71 earned run average.
Angels struggling slugger Josh Hamilton was held out of the starting lineup Monday and walked in a pinch-hit role. He has just two hits in the Angels' last six games and is batting .216 with eight homers and 18 RBI.
"Josh, he's in a little funk right now, but I'm pretty confident he's going to come out of it," Trout told the club's website. "Albert's (Pujols) still having good at-bats, and he's going to get his numbers, too."
Pujols has two hits in his last four games and is batting .243 with eight home runs and 32 RBI. He hasn't homered since May 23.
The Cubs enter this series having lost two straight against the Arizona Diamondbacks, including Sunday's 8-4 setback in the finale of a three-game series from Wrigley Field.
Edwin Jackson continued to struggle and fell to 1-8 after he gave up seven runs, five of which were earned, and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He also fanned four batters and walked three.
"It's probably one of the most frustrating seasons I've been through," Jackson said. "I'm a way better pitcher than I've been showing."
Scott Hairston hit a two-run homer, while Jackson and Dioner Navarro added an RBI apiece for the Cubs, whose current slide comes on the heels of a five- game winning streak.
Chicago has won two straight on the road since losing five in a row away from home and will hand the ball to Scott Feldman in Anaheim. Feldman has won five of his last six decisions and tossed six innings of two-run ball in last Wednesday's 9-3 victory over the White Sox. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk, improving to 5-4 in 10 starts with a 2.82 earned run average.
Feldman is only 1-3 in five road outings this season and 4-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 20 career games (11 starts) against the Angels.
The Cubs lost two of three to the Angels back in 2010 at Wrigley Field and last played at Anaheim in 2004, winning two of three from June 11-13.