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Preview: Angels (26-21) at Indians (22-23)
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Game: 1
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: June 16, 2014 7:05 PM EDT

Jered Weaver admits that he is very comfortable in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Indians certainly are as well this year.

The Los Angeles Angels starter's lowest ERA in any AL park is at Progressive Field, where the Indians have won nine straight heading into Monday night's opener of a four-game series.

Weaver (7-5, 3.51 ERA) is 6-0 with a 1.64 ERA in nine career starts at Cleveland (35-35), including a 5-2 victory he earned Aug. 9 in which he gave up two runs over seven innings. He allowed one run over his previous 36 at Progressive Field.

"I have no idea (why),' said Weaver after last year's outing. "I'm not a numbers' guy. I feel comfortable in this park."


The Indians should be a formidable opponent Monday since they are enjoying their longest home win streak since an 11-game run July 11-Aug. 1. Their 21-11 home mark is the best in the majors.

Cleveland will be counting on strong efforts at the plate from Carlos Santana, who is 9 for 17 against Weaver, and Lonnie Chisenhall, who is 5 for 12. On the other end of the spectrum, Nick Swisher (7 for 31), Michael Brantley (5 for 24) and David Murphy (8 for 55) have struggled.

Weaver is trying to avoid allowing a homer in seven straight starts for the first time in his career. He gave up four runs over 5 1-3 innings in last Wednesday's 7-1 loss to Oakland.

Another Cleveland hitter who can't be looking forward to this matchup is Michael Bourn, who is 1 for 10 with five strikeouts against Weaver. The Indians leadoff man is also in a 1-for-19 slump with six strikeouts.

The Indians start a seven-game homestand after they posted back-to-back 3-2 victories in Boston to close a 10-game trip with a .500 mark. Swisher was Sunday's hero with a go-ahead solo homer in the 11th inning - a big hit considering his .207 average.

"This year's been kind of crazy for me, personally, just to come up with a hit like that to help this team win a ballgame,' Swisher said. 'I was so stoked, man. I wanted to smile all the way around the bases.'

Los Angeles (37-31) outscored Cleveland 19-8 in sweeping three games at home April 28-30. Weaver captured the middle game of that series by yielding two runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 6-4 victory.

Erick Aybar and David Freese each went 5 for 12 in that series for the Angels, but both may not be a big factor this time.

Aybar left Sunday's 7-3 loss at Atlanta with a sore left hip after homering earlier in the contest and is day to day.

"I felt a little bit sore," Aybar told the team's official website. "I felt it right away. I don't want to miss more time. Better take a day and not wait two weeks or something."

Freese, meanwhile, is mired in a 3-for-23 slump with nine strikeouts over his last six games.

Like Weaver, Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer (1-3, 4.24) has also pitched well in Progressive Field - where he is 2-2 with a 2.15 ERA in six career starts. The right-hander, a southern California native, has never faced Los Angeles.

He'll get his first look at Angels superstar Mike Trout, hitting .366 during a 10-game streak. Trout's .207 average in Cleveland is his second-worst in any big-league city.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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