Chatwood fills in for Weaver in opener with Twins

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will have to wait one season form.

The rookie returns to the majors to start tonight's opener of a three-game series with the visiting Minnesota Twins.

American League Cy Young candidate and 15-game winner Jered Weaver had his scheduled start pushed back to Saturday so he could attend the funeral of his grandfather. That prompted the Angels to recall Chatwood from Triple-A Salt Lake, where he has been since his demotion on Aug. 18.

Chatwood's last major league start came two days earlier when he lost this third straight decision after lasting just two innings versus the Rangers. The 21-year-old was charged with five runs on eight hits and has yielded 18 runs over his past four starts.

A consistent performer through most of the season, the right-hander has won just once since July 1 and is 6-9 with a 4.35 earned run average on the season. He faced the Twins for the first time in his career on May 27 and did not get a decision, yielding four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Los Angeles hopes the rookie can help it make up some ground on first-place Texas, which leads the AL West by 3 1/2 games over the Angels. LA kept pace on Thursday with a 4-3 victory over the Mariners, overcoming seven walks by Ervin Santana over his 6 2/3 innings.

Torii Hunter, who has hit safely in 31 of his past 34 games, hit a three-run homer and Howie Kendrick added a solo blast to give Santana just enough run support.

"For [Santana] to get as deep as he did with really being so far out of sync and not having his best stuff, that's just a testimony of how far he's come and how much pitch-ability he has now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

The Angels had lost three of four coming in, but will try to make it two straight wins tonight against a Twins club that went just 7-21 in August. Minnesota was held to one run or less in 14 of those games and the seven victories were the fewest by the franchise in the month of August since moving to Minnesota in 1961.

The Twins put their struggles aside for a day on Wednesday, scoring six runs in the first inning before holding off the White Sox for a 7-6 win. Jason Kubel and Luke Hughes both hit two-run homers in the opening frame to help starter Scott Diamond claim his first major league win.

"This is an unbelievable accomplishment. I really couldn't have done this without the guys on the team," said Diamond after allowing three runs in six innings of work.

The Twins did allow the White Sox to score three runs over the final two innings, but Joe Nathan left the trying run on base to earn his 12th save of the season despite allowing a pair of ninth-inning runs.

Carl Pavano will try to keep that momentum going as he shoots for his first win since July 7. He is 0-5 with a 5.74 ERA in nine starts since and lost his second straight outing on Saturday, giving up six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings versus the Tigers. The righty has allowed five homers in his last three starts, including two in his most recent appearance.

Pavano is now 6-11 with a 4.62 ERA in 27 starts and that includes a loss to the Angels on May 29. He gave up four earned runs over eight innings and is 3-2 against them lifetime with a 4.35 ERA.

The Angels have won four of six over the Twins this year, taking two of three at home in early August.