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Angels' Jered Weaver to start Sunday on short rest

Manager Mike Scioscia wants Weaver to pitch three of the Angels' final 11 games.

September 17, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Jered Weaver will start on three days rest Sunday for the second time in his career -- and the second time in the last three weeks.
Jered Weaver will start on three days rest Sunday for the second time in his… (Mike Cassese / Reuters )

Reporting from Baltimore — Manager Mike Scioscia confirmed the worst-kept secret in the Angels' clubhouse Saturday when he said right-hander Jered Weaver would start the series finale in Baltimore on just three days' rest.

Scioscia wants Weaver (17-7, 2.40 ERA) to pitch three of the Angels' final 11 games and to do that he would have to make at least one start on short rest.

"We put a lot of time into making evaluations and looking at options," Scioscia said. "It's a calculated risk with anything you do. Weav doesn't see it as any issue. Nor [pitching coach] Mike Butcher.

"That certainly gives me the confidence to know that he's not going to be at any risk."

Weaver has started on short rest just one other time in his career, three weeks ago in Texas. And that one didn't go well, with the Rangers scoring seven runs off him in six-plus innings.

"You might be spoiled from a guy that was on a run like Weav…. Certainly there have been a couple of games that he hasn't gone out there and pitched like he's capable," Scioscia said. "But … we're at the close of the season. He'll be ready."

Winning pitch

With a 4.75 ERA, Baltimore has the worst pitching staff in the American League. But the Orioles have thoroughly frustrated the Angels in this series, holding them scoreless into the ninth inning Friday and giving up just two runs on four hits Saturday.

"Four hits isn't going to get it done," Scioscia said.

Starters Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter were especially tough, combining to allow one run in 14 innings.

"They've shut us down," Scioscia said. "We didn't give ourselves a chance really to get any pressure on Britton. He just said, 'Here it is' and went after us as we just didn't too much to answer."

Trout gives Angels a scare

C.J. Cron, the Angels' top pick in the June draft, had his season ended a month early after fouling a ball off his kneecap, resulting in an injury that required surgery to repair. So the organization was holding its collective breath when top prospect Mike Trout fouled a ball hard off his left leg just below the knee in the ninth inning Saturday.

After hobbling around the plate area for a few moments trying to gather himself, Trout finished the at-bat by striking out to end the game. The injury doesn't appear serious, although Trout is unlikely to play Sunday with right-hander Alfredo Simon starting for Baltimore.

Short Hops

The Angels' season-ending Sept. 28 game with Texas at Angel Stadium will begin at 5:05 p.m. PDT. Although no TV plans have been announced, the early start would allow ESPN to pick up the game if a playoff spot is on the line…. Saturday's game was delayed 14 minutes after plate umpire Brian O'Nora was hit in the ankle by a Zach Britton warm-up pitch. As a result, Alfonzo Marquez was forced to change into the protective gear and go behind the plate while Ed Rapuano and Laz Diaz worked the infield. O'Nora was taken to a local hospital where X-rays were inconclusive. He was expected to remain there overnight.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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