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LAA@OAK: Weaver strikes out nine in four-hit shutout

By far and away the Angels most consistent starter this season, Jered Weaver has been nearly flawless in his last nine starts since coming off the disabled list.

A standout in the Halos star-studded rotation, Weaver is 9-0 with a 1.60 ERA since coming off the DL in June and has put himself right in the middle of this season's Cy Young conversation.

Weaver will look to keep that momentum going on Sunday as the Angels try for a series win against the Mariners at Angel Stadium.

"I think at times when 'Weave' hasn't had his best stuff, he's been able to grind it out and been able to get to a certain point in the game, giving us a chance to win," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And at times when he's pitching well, he finds something, he rides it out for a long time and pitches deep into the game. I think that's just a quality of a pitcher of his caliber that they're able to do that. That's why he's the lead dog."

The right-hander made it look easy on Monday against the A's, tossing a four-hit shutout while striking out nine. It marked his 15th win of the season and dropped his ERA to a minuscule 2.13.

"There's some huge areas of growth in Jered that are helping him to be more pitch-efficient, pitch deep into games, maintain his stuff not only through the course of a game but through the course of a season," Scioscia said. "He had an extraordinary year last year and he's followed it up with an extraordinary year this year."

Meanwhile, Jason Vargas will be on the hill for the Mariners, ready to face off against his former Long Beach State teammate.

While Weaver's numbers continue to dazzle, the left-hander is having his best season as a starter. The American League Pitcher of the Month for July, going 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA, Vargas already has a career-high 12 wins this season.

However, he couldn't keep that streak going into August, when he took the loss on Monday against the Orioles. After giving up three runs in the second inning, Vargas settled down, allowing just three hits the rest of the way. In all, Vargas allowed three runs on eight hits in eight innings of work.

"It says a great deal about him and how far he's come," manager Eric Wedge said of sticking with Vargas for eight innings. "He had earned the right to be out there, I wanted him to be out there. I trust him. And he makes pitches and keeps the game right where it is. He gave us every chance to win that ballgame, and I wanted to give him every chance to win."

Mariners: Wilhelmsen returns to team
• Closer Tom Wilhelmsen rejoined the Mariners on Saturday night after flying home to Seattle for the birth of his daughter on Friday.

Wilhelmsen missed the Mariners' pregame work on Saturday, but tossed an inning in the contest later in the night, surrendering a solo home run to Kendrys Morales in the ninth inning.

"As long as he's down there by the seventh or eighth inning, we'll be OK," Wedge said with a chuckle before Saturday's game.

Angels: Geltz gets called up
• The Angels officially purchased Steven Geltz's contract Saturday, making him the 37th member of their 40-man roster.

He took the place of righty David Carpenter, who posted a 4.76 ERA in 28 appearances as mostly a long reliever.

"My jaw dropped and I started crying," Geltz said when he was told of his promotion from Triple-A Salt Lake. "I just couldn't believe it. It was just so surreal."

Worth noting
• The Mariners have the most walk-off losses in the AL this year with eight, including six since July 6. The club record of 13 for a season was set last year.

• Angels right fielder Torii Hunter has a hit in 17 of his last 19 games, batting .380 (30-for-79) with 16 RBIs in that stretch. Comments