As this stretch becomes more arduous for the Angels' bullpen, they're in need of a strong start more than ever. So Monday against the Indians would be the perfect time for ace Jered Weaver to turn in a strong bounceback outing.
Weaver, just 7-6 this year, was on a roll over his last nine starts, lowering his ERA from 4.15 on June 27 to 2.87 on Aug. 9, before he took the mound at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. He was tagged for nine runs on nine hits in five innings, as his ERA climbed back up to 3.49.
And as the Angels bullpen was taxed this weekend -- an extra-innings win against the Astros on Saturday and 3 2/3 more on Sunday brought the relievers total to 381 innings on the season -- the Angels surely could use a lengthy outing from Weaver.
"We're dealing with some things, but you have to try to do exactly what you're saying, carry good play onto the field, carry momentum one pitch at a time," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The last three weeks it's been tough with some of the things in our bullpen. A couple guys are exhausted, lets just say it. Many guys are throwing too much so you have to make decisions on giving guys days off which has further thinned some of the depth you have down there."
After a series loss to the A's this weekend, the Indians are looking for a bit of momentum as they continue to chase the Tigers in the American League Central. They're seven back of Detroit division, and sit behind Tampa Bay, Oakland and Baltimore in the chase for the two AL Wild Card spots.
Cleveland has lost nine of its past 13. Right-hander Zach McAllister, a late replacement for rookie Danny Salazar, got his first win since coming off the disabled list in his most recent outing, when he held the Twins to two runs (one earned) and four hits over six innings, with just one walk and seven strikeouts. McAllister is 1-2 with 4.56 ERA since his return.
The 23-year-old Salazar was scratched, and perhaps will be rescheduled to start on Tuesday, out of caution against his innings count this season.
Indians: Best vs. the West
• The Tribe is 18-8 this year against the AL West, outscoring teams 141-89 with 42 home runs in those 26 games.
• The Indians lost two of three to the Angels in the team's most recent homestand. They've gone 123-142 all-time at Angel Stadium, but have been around the .500 mark (45-44) there since the start of the 1994 season.
Angels: Trout leaves Sunday
Center fielder Mike Trout left in the top of the sixth inning of Sunday's game with right hamstring tightness after going 2-for-3 with a double and a run before he was taken out.
With Peter Bourjos having the day off, Collin Cowgill moved from right field to center and Kole Calhoun took over in right field.
Trout reached base for the 40th straight game, extending the longest current streak in the Majors.
• The Angels have led at some point in 11 of their last 16 losses.
• The Indians have won four of their past seven series.