Jered Weaver 's dominance at home dates back to last year, and a back injury hasn't slowed him down at any venue.
He's been so strong, in fact, that he could become the first pitcher in 11 years to start back-to-back All-Star games.
Last year's AL Cy Young runner-up, Weaver (9-1, 2.13 ERA) is 13-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 21 home starts over the last two seasons.
The right-hander has won all five of his decisions in Anaheim this year - highlighted by a May 2 no-hitter against Minnesota - with a 0.70 ERA and a .134 opponent batting average.
He's been so dominant at Angel Stadium that he's only yielded three earned runs there all season. All three came against Baltimore (45-38) on April 21, though that wasn't exactly a weak outing. Weaver went the distance in that contest, allowing five hits to earn a 6-3 victory - his third straight winning start versus the Orioles.
Weaver has been even better overall since returning from a strained lower back that landed him on the disabled list for three weeks. He's won all three of his starts - two on the road - while yielding one run in 19 2-3 innings, and earned a third consecutive trip to the All-Star game.
He has a chance to become the first pitcher to start back-to-back Midsummer Classics since Randy Johnson did it representing Arizona in 2000 and 2001.
"If it happens, it happens," Weaver told the Angels' official website. "Just to be a part of it is an honor in itself, but I think that if ( Texas Rangers manager Ron) Washington picks one guy to start the game, it's a pretty big honor."
Washington isn't ready to divulge who will get the nod for the AL.
"I have an idea on who I want to be as the starting pitcher," Washington said, "and I'll let that be known when the time comes."
In the meantime, Weaver will try to help the Angels (46-38) rebound from Friday's 3-2 loss to the Orioles after taking the opener of this series 9-7 on Thursday night.
Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo will join fellow Los Angeles representatives Weaver and left-hander C.J. Wilson at Tuesday's All-Star game in Kansas City. Trout and Trumbo hit solo homers to account for Friday's Angels runs.
Trout is batting .415 with five homers and seven stolen bases in his last 16 games.
"I think he'd love to go to the All-Star Game, and we'd like for him to go there," manager Buck Showalter told the Orioles' official website, "but also I think his arm could stand the time (off)."
Hammel has lost his last two starts while surrendering 12 runs and 15 hits in 10 innings, including a 13-1 home defeat opposite Weaver on June 27. In by far his worst performance of the season, Hammel surrendered eight runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings while Weaver gave up one run in 6 2-3.
Hammel's only appearance in Anaheim was a loss with Tampa Bay on Sept. 18, 2007.
Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer for Baltimore on Friday. He's 4 for 11 with two homers and four RBIs in four games against the Angels this season.
|July 03, 2012||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Groin injury|
|June 28, 2012||Nick Johnson||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|June 27, 2012||Nick Johnson||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|June 13, 2012||Brian Matusz||Day-to-Day||Bruised nose|
|June 13, 2012||Endy Chavez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|June 12, 2012||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Strained right hamstring|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|July 04, 2012||Dan Haren||15-Day DL||Lower back stiffness|
|July 02, 2012||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Jammed right pinky finger|
|June 19, 2012||Jerome Williams||15-Day DL||Shortness of breath|
|June 05, 2012||Bobby Wilson||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 05, 2012||Bobby Wilson||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|May 29, 2012||Jered Weaver||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Three days before his third straight All-Star game, Jered Weaver again displayed the form that has made the midsummer classic a regular part of his schedule.
The Los Angeles Angels ' ace scattered three hits over eight innings Saturday night in a 3-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles . His glittering performance may have earned Weaver a second straight All-Star start, depending on what AL manager Ron Washington decides.
"To be able to start back-to-back All-Star games would be pretty sweet," Weaver said. "It was an honor to start last year, but there are some other candidates throwing the ball real well in the American League. So it's not something I'm getting my hopes up about. Hopefully, I can just get out there and throw an inning. But we'll see what happens."
Weaver (10-1) won his fourth straight start since coming off the disabled list, allowing just one run over 27 2-3 innings during that stretch after missing three weeks with a lower back strain. The right-hander struck out five and walked one while lowering his ERA to a major league-best 1.96.
Weaver joined Sandy Koufax (1963-64) as the only pitchers since 1950 with consecutive seasons of double-digit wins and an ERA under 2.00 before the All-Star break. During his seven-year career, the Angels' ace is 59-26 with a 2.84 ERA in 110 starts before the All-Star break. Last season he was 11-4 with a 1.86 ERA in 19 starts before the break.
"I had less losses in the first half this year than last year, which is pretty good because it means that I've been able to keep the team in the game and give us a chance to win," Weaver said. "And our offense has been spectacular the last two months, so there's been a lot of help on the team's end to get me to where I'm at."
Weaver improved to 14-2 at home since the start of last season.
"Any starting pitcher will tell you that it's more comfortable to pitch at home," he said. "You get that white uniform on and you know that the home crowd's going to be supporting and be behind you. That's a very comfortable feeling. This is a pitcher's park, there's no question about that, so it's easier to let some pitches go instead of trying to be too fine."
A good example of how Angel Stadium plays for Weaver was demonstrated by Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters , who flied out to the warning track in the fourth and seventh innings.
"They've got a lot of guys in their lineup that can hurt you," Weaver said. "Obviously, I got away with some pitches that they hit to the warning track, and that misty air kind of knocked them down."
Scott Downs pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in eight attempts.
Jason Hammel (8-5) gave up three runs, six hits and four walks over 6 2-3 innings and struck out four. He also hooked up against Weaver on June 26 at Baltimore, and was charged with eight runs in 3 1-3 innings that night in a 13-1 loss after bringing a 19-inning scoreless streak into the game.
"I made a lot of adjustments from that game. I pitched inside a lot more and it was very effective against a team that makes contact as much as they do," Hammel said. "They were diving out and getting balls on the outer half the last time, so anything that I was able to change from that outing to this one was definitely good."
Mark Trumbo led off the Angels' fourth with a single and legged it to second after left fielder Xavier Avery misplayed the ball for the Orioles' major league-worst 75th error. Trumbo got to third after tagging up on Alberto Callaspo 's flyout to the warning track in center, and Kendrick singled sharply to the right of second base with the infield playing in.
Angels Gold Glove right fielder Torii Hunter helped choke off an Orioles threat in the seventh when he played the carom perfectly off the 18-foot wall on a single by slugger Jim Thome and threw out the 41-year-old designated hitter at second base with the Angels still leading 1-0.
"He pushed the envelope there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Torii is a good thrower and Jimmy understands the situation."
The Halos tacked on two more runs in the bottom half with a two-out RBI double by Hunter and an RBI single by Kendrys Morales . But it was the speed of rookie Mike Trout that kept the inning going for Hunter, as the 20-year-old rookie beat the relay to first base on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder to second baseman Robert Andino .
"He's a catalyst for that team, and we've seen it since he's come up. They've been a completely different team," Hammel said. "I made a good pitch there and he hit it into the ground, but with his speed he was able to keep the inning alive."
NOTES: Orioles 1B Joe Mahoney was 0 for 3 in his major league debut, two days after his contract was purchased from Norfolk. He was a sixth-round draft pick in 2007 out of the University of Richmond. ... Weaver will be the fourth pitcher in Angels history to represent them in three consecutive All-Star games. The others were LHP Mark Langston (1991-93), LHP Frank Tanana (1976-78) and RHP Ken McBride (1961-1963).