Angels ace Weaver makes final start against Mariners

8:33 AM, Oct 3, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won't be going to the playoffs, but ace starter Jered Weaver still has a chance to add some personal hardware to his collection.

The three-time All-Star will try to strengthen his AL Cy Young award case on Wednesday night as the Angels close their regular season with the finale of a three-game set versus the Seattle Mariners.

Weaver is one of two 20-game winners in the American League, becoming the first to reach the mark last Friday with a win over the Texas Rangers. He yielded two runs on five hits and a pair of walks in seven innings, becoming the first Angels hurler to reach the 20-win plateau since Bartolo Colon in 2005.

The good news for Weaver? Colon won the AL Cy Young award that season.

"It's a great accomplishment," Weaver said of his career-high 20th win. "I didn't think that I'd ever do it. I have to thank my teammates for getting me to where I'm at. It's a great personal accomplishment but I'm all for winning a World Series before any of that stuff."

Weaver, who will turn 30 on Thursday, is 20-4 with a 2.73 earned run average in 29 starts this season and has won four straight starts. His ERA over that span is an impressive 1.98.

The right-hander finished second to the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander in last year's voting for the league's top pitching award and will try to finish strong against the Mariners, who he is 12-6 against in his career with a 3.12 ERA in 24 starts.

Weaver wasn't at his best the last time he faced them, taking a loss on Sept. 2 after yielding two runs on eight hits and four walks in 5 1/3 frames. However, he did not pitch for the next 10 days due to biceps tendinitis.

Standing in Weaver's way of a 21st victory is Seattle's Blake Beavan, who has lost three of his last four starts and is coming off a loss at the Oakland Athletics on Friday.

The righty was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and a pair of walks in 4 2/3 innings. He was hurt by two homers, a leadoff shot to Coco Crisp in the bottom of the first and a two-run homer by Stephen Drew in the third.

Beavan fell below .500 on the year at 10-11 with a 4.68 ERA through 25 starts.

The 23-year-old is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in five career meetings with the Angels, taking that loss in the last meeting on June 5. He was touched for six runs over five innings, serving up a pair of homers to Mark Trumbo and another blast to Torii Hunter.

The Mariners snapped a four-game slide and drew even in this set on Tuesday with a 6-1 victory. Hisashi Iwakuma hurled six scoreless innings of six-hit ball, fanning seven to win his third straight start and ninth of the season.

Michael Saunders went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI and Kyle Seager had two hits -- including a solo homer -- and scored twice for the Mariners.

"It was a big day for us, we needed to get another win," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "The way these guys have been fighting through this tough schedule here this last three weeks of the season, I've been proud of the fact that they haven't given in to anybody, they haven't backed down from anybody."

Dan Haren allowed five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and struck out eight over six innings, while Howie Kendrick drove in the lone run for the Angels, who were eliminated from playoff contention on Monday.

The Angels are 11-7 versus the Mariners this season, taking seven of nine in Seattle.

The Sports Network

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