Minnesota Twins (36-40) at LA Angels of Anaheim (43-33), 3:35 p.m. (ET)

 

The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - Veteran ace Jered Weaver can end an uncharacteristically long winless skid on Thursday afternoon when he and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim host the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.

Weaver hasn't won in three consecutive starts, but takes the mound for an Angels team that's recently been red-hot at home, winning five consecutive games.

He's 6-0 in seven career home starts against the Twins while maintaining a 2.92 earned run average. In the last two of those seven, he's surrendered just two hits and struck out 18 batters across 17 composite innings.

He's recorded three straight home shutouts against only one foe in his career -- the Oakland Athletics -- in 2012 and 2013.

The Angels have outscored their opponents, 29-15, in the most recent five-game home tear and have won 14 of their last 16 games in their ballpark.

"Our record and the standings are irrelevant right now," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We need to continue to evolve as a team. It really has no bearing where you're playing or who you're playing, but how you're playing."

In his last two starts, Weaver has given up eight runs in 11 1/3 innings.

He'll be opposed by Minnesota's Ricky Nolasco, who's unbeaten in his last five outings while posting a 4.30 ERA. The final three of those five have been no- decisions, however, and he's failed to last a full six innings in any of those outings.

Nolasco is making his first career start against the Angels.

Rookie Danny Santana's status is up in the air after he injured a leg while running out a double in Wednesday's middle game. The shortstop has two home runs and 16 runs batted in to go with a .328 batting average in 37 games.

"He tried to stretch it out and tried to run on it again, and said he felt it again," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So they took him in there, they checked his knee out thoroughly, and we'll see how he is. That's all we can do."

On Wednesday, Garrett Richards went 7 1/3 innings, winning his fourth straight decision and guiding the Angels to a 6-2 win. Richards (8-2) was charged with two runs on four hits -- his fifth consecutive start this month allowing exactly four hits -- with five strikeouts for the Angels. Richards has allowed just four runs in 34 1/3 innings in June.

Kole Calhoun drove in two runs, while Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar and C.J. Cron all collected a pair of hits in the win.

Oswaldo Arcia hit a solo blast in the second inning for Minnesota, which saw starter Yohan Pino (0-1) get roughed up for five runs in just three innings on the hill.

The Angels and Twins are meeting for the first time this season. Minnesota went 5-1 in last season's series with the Halos, who are 10-4 in the past 14 matchups between the teams in LA.

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