(SportsNetwork.com) - Still seeking his first win of the season, Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pay a visit to Minute Maid Park on Friday night to begin a three-game set with the Houston Astros.
The Angels began their road trip in Arlington, Texas earlier this week and left town on Wednesday with a series-clinching, 10-2 rout. Starter Hector Santiago went seven innings and gave up only one run on four hits, striking out five batters in the process. The offense gave him an early lead thanks to a four-run second inning, and Santiago was in cruise control the rest of the way. Four different hitters finished with two RBI for the Halos.
"I think it's just something that we needed, just that confidence to know that we can score a bunch of runs," " said left fielder Matt Joyce, one of the aforementioned players who drove in a pair of runs. "That's huge for our confidence."
Right fielder and leadoff man Kole Calhoun was held out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game as he continues to deal with a right calf strain. Calhoun said he hopes be in Friday's lineup.
Like the Angels, Houston also had the day off Thursday. The Astros dropped the first two games of their home series with Oakland, but salvaged a 6-1 victory in Wednesday's finale.
Both teams finished with eight hits, but the Athletics simply had no answer for Astros starter Collin McHugh, who allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings and fanned 11 batters, one shy of his career high.
"It's a big game," McHugh said. "It's the last game of the series against a division opponent and you want to at least take one, especially at home. I was pumped up. I was excited."
Jed Lowrie sparked Houston's offense with a home run and three RBI against his former club.
The Astros are in the middle of a stretch that will see them play 15 straight games against division foes from the American League West. Roberto Hernandez gets the starting nod Friday night as he looks to rebound from a loss to the Rangers in his first outing this past Saturday. The right-hander allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings, although only one of those were earned. Hernandez was also victimized by shoddy run support as the Astros stranded 13 base runners in a 6-2 loss.
After two turns through the rotation, Weaver has hardly looked like the same pitcher who went 18-9 last season for L.A. He gave up four runs at Seattle in his 2015 debut and then coughed up six more runs against Kansas City in his second start. The right-hander was tagged for a combined 15 hits in the two losses. Weaver will look to erase the memory of his first start at Minute Maid Park last season when he served up four home runs.
The Angels won 12 of 19 meetings with Houston last season.