Weaver aims for 8-0 start

Weaver aims for 8-0 start

Jered Weaver will have an opportunity to equal the best start by a rookie pitcher in 25 years when he takes the hill against the Red Sox on Saturday.

The right-hander has won his first seven starts and will be looking to match Fernando Valenzuela, who began the 1981 season 8-0 as a rookie for the Dodgers.

Weaver will be facing his toughest test when he is greeted by the first-place Red Sox, a team that is third in the league in homers, second in runs scored and first in on-base percentage. But Weaver has shown an ability to command the strike zone and his closest observers feel it won't be an issue.

"His approach deflects a lot of so-called pressure," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I've seen him maintain it in Spring Training games and Fall League games and here. He simply follows a game plan so the opposition becomes less of an issue and the environment becomes less of an issue."

Whitey Ford, in 1950, holds the American League record with nine wins without a loss to open a career. Hooks Wiltse is the holder of the Major League record by opening his career 12-0 with the New York Giants in 1904.

Right-hander Josh Beckett will start for the Red Sox, trying to become the Majors' first 14-game winner.

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP Jered Weaver (7-0, 1.15 ERA)
Weaver is 13-1 this season, which includes 12 appearances at Triple-A.

BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (13-5, 4.77 ERA)
Beckett is making his first career start against the Angels.

Player to watch
Adam Kennedy has an 11-game hitting streak.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• KCOP Ch. 13

On radio
• KSPN 710 AM; KMXE 830 AM (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Angels (RHP John Lackey, 9-6, 2.89) at Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 13-3, 3.63), 5:05 p.m. PT
• Monday: A's (RHP Dan Haren, 7-9, 3.89) at Angels (RHP Ervin Santana, 11-4, 4.25), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: A's (RHP Joe Blanton, 11-8, 4.78) at Angels (RHP Bartolo Colon, 1-5, 5.11), 7:05 p.m. PT

Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.