Angels shoot for another home win over Dodgers

It seems all the LA Angels of Anaheim needed to get on track was a trip back home.

The Angels intend on staying in the win column Thursday versus the Los Angeles Dodgers in the conclusion of their two-game series at the Big A. The Angels lost the first two parts of this set at Dodger Stadium, but fought back with Wednesday's 4-3 win behind the anticipated return of ace Jered Weaver.

Sidelined since April 8 with a fractured left elbow, Weaver returned to post six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts and no walks. It was Weaver's first win of the season and first start in Anaheim.

"It's been a long road and a lot of frustrating times. Give it to our training staff for putting up with me for six weeks," Weaver said. "Everything felt great, my location was good and the offense took care of the rest."

Things got a bit hairy in the top of the ninth with Angels closer Ernesto Frieri on the mound. He allowed a leadoff homer to Adrian Gonzalez, then was able to get the next two batters out. Scott Van Slyke made it a 4-3 game with a solo home run, but Skip Schumaker couldn't keep the L.A. rally going and flied out to end the game.

Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer and added a sacrifice fly, while Erick Aybar tallied three hits and an RBI for the Angels, winners in nine of 11 games. The Angels also opened an eight-game homestand and will next welcome the Houston Astros to town for four games.

Angels slugger Josh Hamilton missed Tuesday's game with back spasms he discovered in batting practice and was able to return to the lineup in last night's win and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk. Hamilton's four-game hit streak also came to an end.

With a chance for a four-game split versus the Dodgers in this series, the Halos will hand Jason Vargas the ball Thursday and he is unbeaten over his last five starts -- all Anaheim wins. In that time, Vargas is 4-0 with a 2.25 earned run average with an opposing batting average of .208.

Vargas has won his last three trips to the mound and defeated Kansas City on the road last Friday, holding the Royals to a pair of runs and five hits through 7 1/3 innings. Despite walking a season-high four batters, the left- hander improved to 4-3 in 10 starts with a 3.43 ERA. Vargas, who opened the season 0-3 in his first five chances, is 1-2 with a 5.03 ERA in three career outings against the Dodgers.

One night after Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed a two-hit shutout, Dodgers starter Chris Capuano couldn't duplicate the effort and allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out two in falling to 1-4.

The biggest news of the night for the Dodgers was the hamstring injury star outfielder Matt Kemp suffered in Wednesday's loss. Kemp sustained a mild right hamstring strain in the seventh inning and is scheduled to undergo an MRI Thursday. Kemp is day-to-day and missed a lot of time last season because of a left hamstring problem.

"It's not as bad as last year," Kemp told the club's website. "But when you feel it grab and it feels like that, you've got to take it easy and make sure you're careful with it because it can get worse."

Kemp also said he would opt to miss a few games rather than more than a month much like last season. He went 0-for-3 with two K's in the loss and has one hit in his last six games, going 1-for-17 with a .059 average in that time.

"I shouldn't say it, but anytime you hear the dreaded hamstring word, usually it lasts a little bit," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly added to the report. "Hopefully Matt caught himself before he got it good, so we'll see."

Mattingly's club will visit Colorado for three games over the weekend.

The Dodgers had won two in a row and three of four games and hope Ted Lilly can find the win column in Thursday's series finale. Lilly is 0-1 with a 4.05 earned run average in three starts and did not record a decision in Saturday's 5-3 win over St. Louis. He pitched well, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, and two hits in 5 1/3 innings.

It was Lilly's first start since a stint on the disabled list.

"I think my timing was a little in and out," Lilly said after the start. "I wasn't all over the place, but my command wasn't as good I would like it to be. I still have a ways to go, as far as sharpness. I missed out over the plate quite a bit. Fortunately, I got away with it. But with that said, I think it's best I've thrown the ball in a long time, too."

Lilly, a veteran left-hander, has made 11 career starts against the Angels and is 5-5 with a 4.02 ERA.

The Angels took four of the six meetings with the Dodgers last season and have won 14 of the previous 21 games in this series.