Jered Weaver has been stellar in an otherwise disappointing season for the Los Angeles Angels, who haven't won since the last time their ace took the mound.
That slump seemingly has a good chance of coming to an end given Weaver's stellar road history against the Cleveland Indians, as he opposes former Angel Scott Kazmir on Friday night with each club looking to end a four-game losing streak.
Los Angeles (51-62) hasn't been above .500 since winning its first game of the season, when Weaver turned in the first of many solid performances. It has dropped 10 of its last 13 and is coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of Texas after Wednesday's 10-3 loss.
The Angels' last victory was a 7-3 win over Toronto on Saturday, as Weaver (6-5, 2.90 ERA) gave up three runs in 7 2-3 innings. He's 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA over his last four starts.
"My goals for the rest of the season are just as they were if I wouldn't have gotten hurt,'' said Weaver, who missed more than seven weeks after breaking a bone in his non-pitching arm April 7. "I'm just trying to go out there and win ballgames, try to get us as deep into the game as possible and throw up zeros."
The right-hander has accomplished those goals in most of his recent starts versus the Indians, going 5-1 with a 1.13 ERA over the last seven. He didn't allow a run in 13 innings over two starts against them in 2012, both at Progressive Field.
Weaver is 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA in eight career starts in Cleveland, allowing only one run in 36 innings over his last five outings there.
Kazmir (7-4, 3.89) has been pretty good himself lately, and he'll look to help the Indians (62-53) end their slide after being swept in a four-game series by Detroit to fall seven games behind the AL Central-leading Tigers.
The Angels released Kazmir in June 2011 after he went 11-17 with a 5.31 ERA in 35 starts since his arrival late in the 2009 season. Kazmir, who had three stints on the disabled list while with Los Angeles, signed a minor league contract with Cleveland and didn't pitch in the majors in 2012.
The left-hander, though, is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA over his last nine starts, and he hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his last four. He gave up two hits and struck out seven through six innings of a 2-0 win at Miami on Sunday.
"He's been pretty good," manager Terry Francona said. "He's worked hard to not only maintain, but to answer the bell whenever he pitches. It's been fun to watch."
Cleveland's latest victory came in Kazmir's last start, as it was outscored 25-11 by Detroit. Asdrubal Cabrera had the Indians' two RBIs in Thursday's 10-3 loss.
"This was a terrible, a tough series,'' Francona said. "We'll come back (Friday) and see if we can do better.''
The Indians rank among the major league leaders with a 78.2 stolen base percentage, and they may want to take advantage of those opportunities in this series. Los Angeles' opponents are swiping bases at an 82.8 percent success rate after the Rangers stole 13 over the final two games of their series.
"You're not going to change your whole game plan to shut down the running game, but you have to try to contain it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.