Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Angels sit Howie Kendrick for Jered Weaver-Justin Verlander duel

July 31, 2011 |  9:33 am


The Angels will go into Sunday's marquee pitching matching between Jered Weaver and the Tigers' Justin Verlander with one of their chief offensive weapons, All-Star infielder Howie Kendrick, on the bench.

Kendrick, the team's leadng hitter at .304, is sitting out his third game on the team's 10-game road trip but Manager Mike Scioscia said his day off has nothing to do with injury and everything to do with matchups. Kendrick has hit .235 in his career against Verlander while switch-hitter Maicer Izturis, the man who will take his place, is batting .455 against the Tigers right-hander.

The pitching matchup, which the Tigers have been hyping in billboard ads around town, figures to be one of the best of the season. Weaver (14-4) and Verlander (14-5) are tied for second in the majors in wins. Verlander won nine consecutive decisions between May 7 and June 30 this season, while Weaver has won eight in a row.

Weaver leads the majors with a 1.79 ERA and a 1.04 ERA in day games. Verlander in second-best in day-game ERA at 1.32.

"You never know how that ball's going to bounce on the field," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Both guys have a different gear when you do happen to put pressure on them, they get in trouble. And they both have a knack for getting out of a jam. They both command the game very well.

"I'm sure, as good as those guys are, the margin [for error] is going to be probably very slim who comes out on top."

The lineups:


2B -- Maicer Izturis
RF -- Torii Hunter
DH -- Bobby Abreu
LF -- Vernon Wells
3B -- Alberto Callaspo
SS -- Erick Aybar
1B -- Mark Trumbo
CF -- Peter Bourjos
C -- Jeff Mathis
P -- Jered Weaver

Detroit Tigers

CF -- Austin Jackson
LF -- Brennan Boesch
RF -- Magglio Ordonez
DH -- Miguel Cabrera
1B -- Victor Martinez
SS -- Jhonny Peralta
2B -- Carlos  Guillen
C -- Alex Avila
3B -- Don Kelly
P -- Justin Velander

-- Kevin Baxter in Detroit

Photos: Jered Weaver (36) and Justin Verlander lead the majors in earned-run average and the American League in strikeouts, respectively, heading into Sunday's matchup. Credits: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times and Kyndell Harkness / McClatchy-Tribune