Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana follows through on a delivery against… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
Neither Ervin Santana nor Jered Weaver has started a big league game on three days' rest, and both have carried heavy workloads this season.
But Manager Angels Mike Scioscia will likely use both on short rest against the American League West-leading Texas Rangers this weekend.
That would enable the Angels to start their top three pitchers at Texas — Dan Haren on Friday, Santana on Saturday and Weaver on Sunday.
"If you're going to a four-man rotation or using guys on short rest three or four times through the rotation, some guys might unravel if they're not used to it," Scioscia said. "But this would be a one-time deal, so these guys should be fine."
Santana has pitched into the eighth inning in seven consecutive starts, and in his last two he threw a career-high 129 pitches against Texas on Aug. 17 and 115 pitches against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Weaver ranks fourth in the major leagues in pitches (3,086) and seventh in innings (1951/3) and he was pulled after seven innings and 96 pitches Wednesday night to preserve him for Sunday.
The Angels started rookies Tyler Chatwood and Garrett Richards in the first two games of a four-game series against the Rangers last week and they lost both games.
"It will be contingent on how they feel coming out of their starts," Scioscia said of Weaver and Santana. "There's a progression we have to go through to see if it's feasible or not."
Neither right-hander has been very successful at Texas, where Santana is 4-6 with a 7.37 earned-run average and Weaver is 2-5 with a 4.09 ERA. Haren is 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA there.
Unlike his 11-game, .406-hitting June surge, which was precipitated by an adjustment to correct a slight uppercut in his swing, Peter Bourjos' current hot streak was not sparked by what Scioscia called "a Eureka moment."
But the fact that the speedy center fielder has hit in the first or second spot in nine of the last 11 games hasn't hurt Bourjos, who began Wednesday's game having batted .462 (18 for 39) with seven extra-base hits in nine games, raising his average 20 points to .285.
"I'm getting more fastballs up there, because teams probably don't want to walk me with the middle of the order coming up," said Bourjos, who began Wednesday batting .378 (28 for 74) in August. "I'm putting together good at-bats, getting good pitches to hit and not missing them."
Downs on the mend
Reliever Scott Downs, sidelined since Saturday because of tightness in his left hamstring, did agility drills and wind sprints, played long toss and threw a 15-pitch bullpen session.
The left-hander with a 6-2 record and 1.31 ERA in 46 appearances was not available to pitch Wednesday night, but he should be ready for Friday night's game against the Rangers.
Downs was warming up to enter Saturday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles when he said he "felt a pop" in the hamstring. He has not pitched since Friday night.
Richards, who went on the disabled list after suffering a right groin strain in his Aug. 15 start against Texas, is scheduled to throw in the bullpen this weekend and could pitch in a minor league game next week.