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CWS@LAA: Weaver whiffs nine over six innings of work

The last time Jered Weaver faced the A's, on June 1 in Oakland, the right-hander gave up five runs on a season-high 11 hits as Oakland completed a three-game sweep of the Angels.

Weaver will get another crack at the top run-scoring offense in the Majors on Wednesday, this time for the final game of a three-game set in Anaheim, where Weaver is 4-2 on the year with a 2.79 ERA.

Opposing Weaver will be left-hander Tommy Milone, who is 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA in his last six starts. Milone, who grew up in nearby Saugus and pitched at Southern Cal, has faced the Angels twice in 2014, giving up five earned runs over 12 frames.

"It's a great lineup," Milone said. "You've just got to keep them on their toes. As with any team, you've got to pitch your game, pitch to your strengths. They've showed this year they really don't have an easy out anywhere in that lineup."

After five straight wins and two in a row against the first-place A's, the Angels still trail by 2 1/2 games in the American League West, but they have played well of late as they return to full strength. Josh Hamilton (thumb) is back after missing 48 games, as is David Freese (middle finger) and Kole Calhoun (ankle).

Those three have combined to hit .255 with 16 RBIs since their respective returns.

"Certainly, when we you get some guys that have been out of the lineup back in, you have to feel good about the direction you're going to go in," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Those guys are starting to contribute and it's fun. It's been fun to watch."

With a win on Wednesday, the Angels would keep the pressure on the two-time-defending American League West champs, who lead the Majors with a plus-124 run differential.

One thing is for sure: The Angels believe they are a better team than the one that got swept by Oakland the last time the two squads met.

"I think we didn't play our best baseball that weekend," Weaver said. "We had been playing some pretty good baseball before that. I just think that we realize that we didn't play up to our level."

Milone, meanwhile, will look to build on the mechanical improvements he's made.

"Before I pitched in Washington [May 9], we shortened my stride, and it helped my command," he said of his work with pitching coach Curt Young. "We watched some video from two years ago when I got here, and my stride was shorter then. So it's going back to something that I did before."

Milone has five career wins against the Angels, his most against any team.

A's: Abad fined, not suspended
Major League Baseball fined left-handed reliever Fernando Abad $750 on Tuesday for intentionally throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in the eighth inning of Sunday's game.

Two days after Machado was at the center of a bench-clearing incident between the clubs, things got heated again between the A's and O's on Sunday.

Earlier in the game, Machado had hit catcher Derek Norris twice with his backswing, the second causing Norris to leave the game. Then, in the eighth, Abad threw two pitches inside to Machado. On the second, Machado threw his bat toward third base.

That did not sit well with the A's, who came out of the dugout.

"There is a certain respect that you have to have for this game," catcher John Jaso said. "I felt there was disrespect for the game coming from one player, and guys like that need to be taught a lesson because there's millions of other people that would love to have the spot he has."

Machado was handed a five-game suspension, which he has appealed.

Angels: Home cooking has been kind
For the Angels, coming home could not have come at a better time, on the heels of a 3-7 road trip that included a three-game sweep by division-leading Oakland.

The Angels won the first five games of their current six-game homestand, sweeping the White Sox before taking the first two games of this series from the Athletics.

Los Angeles opened the series 8-10 at Angel Stadium, winning just two of six series and going 2-7 against AL West opponents. Since May 15, though, the Angels are 11-3 at home and have not dropped any of their four series.

"There's times in the last couple years where you show up to the clubhouse and didn't know if you were going to win or lose," Weaver said. "That's never a good feeling. When I was first coming up, it was always a winning mentality, we knew we were going to win that game. We're starting to get that feel back, that winning mentality back."

Wednesday's game against Oakland is the final home game for the Angels before they head to Atlanta for three games and Cleveland for four.

Worth noting
• Since enduring an 0-for-16 slump, Angels catcher Hank Conger is 3-for-9 with two RBIs in his last three games.

• The Angels are 6-21 when scoring three runs or fewer and 30-7 when scoring four or more.

• A's third baseman Josh Donaldson was hitless in his last 21 at-bats. Comments