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ANGELS FYI

Angels' Jered Weaver: 'We're never . . . going to give up.'

Game 3 starter says he feels no added pressure. Manager Mike Scioscia says team is confident despite being down, 2-0, in ALCS against Yankees. 'This thing could turn in a heartbeat,' he says.

October 19, 2009|Jim Peltz

Despite costly miscues that have put them in a 2-0 hole against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, the Angels are playing well and can bounce back today at Angel Stadium behind Game 3 starter Jered Weaver, Manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday.

"Our guys are confident" and Weaver "competes as well as any pitcher in baseball," Scioscia said before his team's off-day workout in Anaheim.

Weaver beat Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox, 4-1, in Game 2 of the AL division series at Angel Stadium on Oct. 9, when Weaver allowed one run and only two hits in 7 1/3 innings.

The Northridge native was 16-8 in the regular season with a 3.75 earned-run average.

He is 4-2 lifetime against New York with a 5.88 ERA.

"We're never a team that's going to give up despite the numbers or what anybody else says," Weaver said, adding that he didn't feel extra pressure because the Angels lost the series' first two games at Yankee Stadium.

"I'm going to treat it like we were up 2-0 or tied 1-1," he said. "I'm going to go out there and have fun, and try to locate."

Said Scioscia: "If we win Game 3, we've got a different vibe in this whole series. We know this thing could turn in a heartbeat."

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Stout pitching

Overshadowed in the Angels' 13-inning loss in Game 2 was the strong start by left-hander Joe Saunders and solid relief pitching by Kevin Jepsen and veteran Darren Oliver.

Saunders gave up two runs in seven innings and left with the score tied, 2-2.

"He pitched terrific baseball for us," Scioscia said. "And when he had that ball down, he got outs. When he got it up, they hit it a little bit, but certainly [he] gave us an opportunity to get into position to win that game."

Jepsen, 25, followed Saunders with two scoreless innings and appeared unfazed by the Yankee Stadium crowd and steady rainfall.

He retired the side in the eighth inning -- including striking out Derek Jeter on a slider.

And when New York got runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, Jepsen got Robinson Cano to hit a weak ground ball to end the inning.

Oliver, 39, then pitched a scoreless 10th inning, which ended when he got New York slugger Mark Teixeira to ground into a force out.

"We just had to keep the game where it was," Oliver said. "They were throwing good too. It was the best you could hope for and give our guys a chance to score a run."

Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher said he was "real happy" with the way Jepsen and Jason Bulger -- neither of whom had playoff experience -- have been pitching.

"They're maturing at the right time, gaining experience," Butcher said. "They're going out there and making pitches and getting the job done."

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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