|AL's Top Hitting Clubs Collide When Tigers Visit Angels|
|Friday, 27 July 2007 13:00|
Jered Weaver hopes to receive some support from the Angels' offense and contain Detroit's on Friday night as he looks for his first win in over a month in the opener of a three-game series between these division leaders.
The AL West-leading Angels (58-42) are hitting .283, ranking third in baseball behind Detroit's major league-best .290 average. The Tigers (60-41) are in first place in the AL Central.
Despite their strong production, the Angels have only scored eight runs in Weaver's last four starts. The 24-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with a 2.08 ERA in that stretch, which followed a five-game winning streak.
Weaver (6-5, 3.30), who has not allowed more than three runs in his last seven trips to the mound, hasn't won since June 16, when he scattered four hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Weaver was solid Saturday, allowing five hits - including two solo homers - over seven innings, but did not receive a decision in Los Angeles' 5-2 loss at Minnesota.
"It's been a little frustrating, but what are you going to do?" he said. "You just have to go out there and pitch your game and hope you snap out of it."
Weaver will try to do just that Friday as he looks for a better performance against Detroit. He was tagged for seven runs - five earned - and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings of a 9-5 loss to the Tigers on April 23 in his first career start against them.
The Angels hope to help him this time after Maicer Izturis scored Casey Kotchman on a walk-off single to beat Oakland 7-6 Wednesday and salvage a win from the three-game set. Los Angeles hit .291 in the series and scored 16 runs.
Detroit will counter Weaver with Nate Robertson (6-7, 4.63), who looks to rebound from his first poor outing since coming off the disabled list on June 26 with arm fatigue.
The left-hander gave up five runs and a season high-tying 11 hits in six innings of a 5-2 loss to Kansas City on Sunday after going 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts after being activated.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Los Angeles -140 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 10 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles -140 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
"You go up there with a game plan, but you might outthink yourself too much," Robertson said. "I threw pitches that I thought had the best chance of getting outs. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't."
Robertson has struggled in six career starts against Los Angeles, going 0-3 with an 8.13 ERA, with one loss and a 13.50 ERA coming in two starts at Angel Stadium. He was better in his last outing against the Angels on May 3, 2006, holding them to one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 2-1 home win.
The Tigers are looking to bounce back after squandering a one-run, eighth-inning lead in a 4-3 loss at Chicago on Thursday. Pitcher Zach Miner's throwing error allowed Scott Podsednik to score from first base to end the game as Detroit lost for the third time in four contests.
"We've been through this situation before," said Tigers starter Justin Verlander, who left the game after the seventh inning, allowing three runs and three hits. "We went through it last year and I think it helps us. We know you're going to lose some games."
Vladimir Guerrero, who was rested Wednesday after going 5-for-9 in two games against the Athletics, is homerless in 97 at-bats over his last 24 games - the longest drought of his career. The 2004 AL MVP has had success against Robertson, going 8-for-12 (.667) with a home run and five RBIs.
by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us
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