American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 8th (All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (45-39) at LA Angels of Anaheim (47-38), 3:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Wei-Yin Chen (7-4, 3.64) LA Angels - Brad Mills (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Credited with their league-leading 12th shutout of the season on Saturday, the LA Angels of Anaheim shoot for their second straight win and the third in the last four outings as they close out a four-game set against the Baltimore Orioles at home this afternoon.
Jered Weaver was again masterful for the Angels yesterday, allowing a mere three hits and one walk, while striking out five over eight innings in a 3-0 triumph for the hosts. Weaver, an impressive 10-1 on the campaign thus far, has won five straight decisions, including four consecutive starts.
First in the American League in ERA (1.96), winning percentage (.909) and WHIP (0.90), Weaver has an ERA of just 0.33 since coming off the disabled list on June 20.
Weaver joins Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as only the second pitcher since 1950 to take 10-plus wins with an ERA under 2.00 to the All-Star break in consecutive seasons.
"I don't know if you can ask Jered to do anything else," manager Mike Scioscia said. "If he didn't miss those couple starts, who knows where his numbers would be this half, but he gives us good game after good game and gives us a chance to win."
Offensively the Angels, now four games out of first in the AL West, produced a total of six hits, with Torii Hunter, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo all coming around to score.
The Orioles posted a total of just three hits, one each by Jim Thome, Wilson Betemit and Robert Andino.
"It's his park," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said of Weaver. "I've seen his career numbers in this park, and they are pretty amazing. We had a couple good chances early and then we let him get in the groove."
Baltimore starter Jason Hammel was saddled with the loss even though he gave up just three runs on six hits and four walks. Now 8-5 on the campaign, Hammel struck out four over 6 2/3 innings.
"Weaver is pretty much unbeatable at home so any runs you give up, it makes it that much harder," Hammel said. "I thought I pitched pretty well, some bad pitches there in the seventh. Just got to be able to get through the seventh there."
Heading to the hill this afternoon for the visiting Orioles will be left- hander Wei-Yin Chen, a native of Taiwan, who is pitching in his first major league season.
Chen managed to get off to a 7-2 start for the O's, but since then he has dropped two straight decisions and has not tasted victory since June 17 versus Atlanta.
Most recently Chen failed to factor into the decision as he permitted just two runs on a pair of hits, striking out nine through 7 1/3 innings against Seattle in what turned into a 5-4 win for Baltimore Tuesday.
Back on April 22 Chen clashed with the Angels and, despite allowing just one run on six hits through 6 1/3 innings, failed to factor into the decision.
A fourth-round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2007 draft, Brad Mills is set to make his first major league appearance with the Angels this afternoon as he subs for Dan Haren, who is still suffering from lower back stiffness.
Acquired in a trade in the offseason, Mills was 2-3 with a hefty 8.57 ERA in 14 games over the last three seasons with Toronto. This year the left-hander has produced a 3-3 mark with a 4.47 ERA in nine starts for Triple-A Salt Lake City prior to being called up.
Coincidently, the two previous major league wins for Mills have also come against the Orioles. While he has had some control issues in those two meetings, issuing seven walks in 12 1/3 innings, he has also struck out nine and has an ERA of just 2.19.
Baltimore, which is alone in second place in the AL East, six games behind the Yankees, is the only team in the division with a negative run differential (minus-30). The team is near the bottom of the league in batting at .241.
07/08 10:36:33 ET