Angels' Weaver eyes 17th victory, sweep of Mariners
(Sports Network) - Jered Weaver aims for his 17th win of the season on Sunday when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim finish off a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Weaver did not get a decision on Tuesday against Boston, as he allowed five runs (4 earned) and seven hits in seven innings of his team's 6-5 win.
Despite the poor showing from Weaver, he's still 16-3 on the year with a 2.85 ERA. He and Tampa Bay's David Price, who will also be on the hill on Sunday, are the only AL pitchers with 16 wins.
However, Weaver has allowed 18 runs in 24 innings of his last four starts (1-2) since a 12-start unbeaten streak that saw him win 10 times. Weaver had that streak stopped with a loss to Seattle on Aug. 12. He is 12-5 lifetime against them with a 3.11 ERA.
Seattle will counter with Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who has helped solidify Seattle's rotation since becoming a starter at midseason. Iwakuma won his third straight decision on Tuesday in Minnesota, as he allowed just an unearned run and one hit in six innings. He did walk four batters, but still improved to 5-3 to go along with a 3.40 ERA.
"Iwakuma did it the hard way," said manager Eric Wedge. "He was just getting by all night long. But we've seen him do that before. He just didn't have the same command of his fastball and he had to rely more on his secondary stuff, but he really went out and competed."
In 10 starts since July 2, Iwakuma is 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA.
Iwakuma beat the Angels on Aug. 11, limiting them to three runs and six hits in seven innings.
On Saturday, Mark Trumbo's two-run, go-ahead single in the eighth inning, propelled Los Angeles to a 5-2 win. Howie Kendrick added an RBI double and Albert Pujols drove in a run for the Angels, who have won the first two in the set and eight of their last 10 overall.
"He senses [his] importance to our club," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Trumbo. "There's no doubt that putting him in RBI situations, the way he can drive the ball, he's going to have an opportunity to be one of our difference makers on the offensive side and hopefully that hit will [be] a sign of better things to come for Mark."
Ervin Santana (8-11) worked seven innings for the win, scattering four hits and a pair of runs while striking out five.
Trayvon Robinson homered and Franklin Gutierrez knocked in the other run for the Mariners, losers in three of their last four.
Felix Hernandez (13-6) was tagged in defeat for nine hits and five runs -- four earned -- over 7 1/3 frames. He had been 9-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his previous 14 starts.
"It wasn't quite the same as we've seen," Wedge said of Hernandez. "They made him work a little bit and he didn't quite have the same command but he was still really good and had good stuff. Even that eighth inning, he was ahead of both those guys they just weren't hit right at people and it just kind of rolled from there."
Anaheim has won seven in a row at Seattle.