Weaver set for return as Angels take on Dodgers

Jered Weaver had high expectations for this season after finishing third in last year's AL Cy Young Award voting.

A fractured left elbow in early April halted those plans temporarily and now the staff ace of the LA Angels of Anaheim is back on the mound ready to get going again. Weaver will take the hill Wednesday in the continuation of a home-and-home series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Big A.

Weaver will make his first home start of the season and was injured in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on April 7 in Arlington. A 20-game winner a season ago, Weaver allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings before going down in the sixth after dodging a line drive back toward the mound. Weaver landed awkwardly on the elbow and was placed on the disabled list the following day.

In two starts this season, Weaver is 0-1 with a 4.91 earned run average.

Anaheim announced Weaver's return on Sunday.

"I think it's a good place to put Weaver back," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the club's website. "It's not bad for these guys to get an extra day here or there."

The right-hander has faced the Dodgers nine times in his career and totes a 5-2 record to go along with a 2.63 ERA.

Weaver's rotation mate, Joe Blanton, couldn't get past Los Angeles in Tuesday's 3-0 loss and allowed all three runs in seven innings of work. He managed to strike out five and did not walk a batter, while permitting seven hits to fall to 1-8 on the season.

Blanton was outperformed by Dodgers rookie hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed a two-hit shutout with seven K's and no walks.

"He pitched a strong game and came right after us," Scioscia said of Ryu. "We didn't get many good looks tonight."

Howie Kendrick and Chris Iannetta provided the hits for the Angels, whose first four batters combined to go 0-for-14. The Angels have lost two in a row since winning eight straight and will open an eight-game homestand Wednesday versus the Dodgers, Astros and Cubs. They've won four straight at home.

Angels high-priced All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton was not in the lineup because of back spasms, which started during batting practice. Hamilton is batting just .222 with eight homers and 18 RBI, but has a hit in four straight games, including two home runs.

"No further word," Scioscia said of Hamilton's status Tuesday. "I don't think his condition has changed much. He wasn't available tonight. We'll evaluate him and see how he feels tomorrow."

Meanwhile, the Dodgers rode the coattails of Ryu in last night's victory and have won two straight, three of four and five of the last eight contests.

Dodgers left-hander Ryu threw 113 pitches, 79 of which went for strikes, and even doubled at the plate.

"It was a good night ... my first complete-game shutout," Ryu said through his interpreter. "After the seventh inning, my pitch count wasn't too high and I felt I had good stuff. I didn't walk anybody. I was pretty happy."

Luis Cruz hit a two-run homer and A.J. Ellis drove in the other run for L.A., which lost struggling slugger Matt Kemp in the ninth inning because of numbness in his right elbow after absorbing a pitch by Blanton in the second.

"The ball took off inside," Kemp told the club's website. "Joe wasn't trying to do it on purpose. He busted me in and said he was sorry. It got me really good. It hit a nerve by the elbow and gave me a numbing sensation the rest of the game."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly thinks Kemp "probably had some inflammation in there." Kemp went 1-for-2 with a run scored and entered the night batting .000 in his previous four games (0-for-12).

The Dodgers are opening a five-game trek to Anaheim and Colorado Wednesday and will send Chris Capuano to the mound at the Big A. Capuano lost his last time out in a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday and gave up six runs -- five earned -- in five innings.

Two of the six hits Capuano allowed were home runs and he has given up five homers in four starts this month. The left-hander is 1-3 with a 5.60 earned run average in seven games (5 starts) and 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three career starts against the Angels.

The Angels took four of the six meetings with the Dodgers last season and have won 13 of the previous 20 games in this series. Los Angeles, though, won Monday's opener at Dodger Stadium.