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LA Dodgers Try to Avoid Sweep by Angels

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in danger of being swept at home for the first time in more than two years.  Their rival LA Angels will be the team trying to sweep the Dodgers as they come to the end of a 14-game road trip.

The Angels will start Jered Weaver (5-3) on Sunday against the Dodger’s Carlos Monasterios (3-0).  Weaver comes off his worst start of the season against the Oakland Athletics giving up six runs on a season-high 12 hits in six-plus innings of work.  This season, Weaver has allowed only two or less runs to the opposition in 13 of his starts.

In five starts against the Dodgers, Weaver has an overall record of 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA.  The last time he faced the Dodgers he allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-4 loss last June.

The Dodgers face offensive problems going into Sunday’s game with the Angels.  The big bats of the Dodgers have been silent this series.  Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Manny Ramirez have all combined to go 0-19 in the weekend series with the cross-town rivals.  Overall, the Dodgers are 1-14 with men in scoring position.

Monastarios will have to deliver a mistake-free game if the Dodgers are to avoid being swept for the first time since 2008.  The Dodgers have won all four of his starts since being moved from the bullpen to replace injured starter Vicente Padilla.  He had posted a 2.27 ERA while going 3-0 so far this season.

Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt has praised the 24-year old right hander for saving the Dodgers starting rotation from mediocrity.

“He’s really stepped up for us and given us a big lift,” coach Honeycutt said. “Each game he’s been very consistent. He gets irritated when he walks guys. He continues to improve and goes right at you. That’s his nature.”

The lineup he will face has averaged 6.1 runs over their current road trip, even in the absence of their homerun leader Kendry Morales.  Morales will now miss the rest of the season, suffering a broken leg after celebrating a walk-off homerun back on May 29.

“It’s a two-week stretch, but we felt we were starting to click so it was our objective to win every game,” said starting pitcher Scott Kazmir. “We knew it was going to turn around for us sooner or later. We believe in ourselves and it’s starting to show.”

MLB sportsbooks have set the Dodgers as the slight favorites to avoid the sweep against the Angels at -107.  The Angels line has been set at 103, and the over/under for total runs scored by both teams in the game is set at 8.


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