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Weaver, Angels head to the Bronx

Weaver leads Angels into series in the Bronx

Teams with contrasting offensive styles -- the freewheeling, running Angels and big-bang Yankees -- match skills for three games this weekend at Yankee Stadium. Nobody ever called the Bronx Bombers the Bronx Burners, just as nobody has labeled the Angels' sprint-relay team Murderers Row.

The series opens with a pair of young right-handers facing off, the Angels sending Jered Weaver out against Tyler Clippard.

The Angels have taken the past three season series from the Yankees, with a 6-4 edge the past two seasons.

Weaver has re-emerged as one of the game's premier young pitchers. In his past 31 1/3 innings, the right-hander has given up a total of seven earned runs, good for a 2.01 ERA during that stretch.

Locked in with his delivery, Weaver tries to maintain a quick tempo on the mound -- much like the fast-break offense that supports him.

"It's a lot like my college days [at Long Beach State]," Weaver, 24, said. "We've got a lot of guys with speed, guys who play the game the way it's supposed to be played. We see ourselves as a small-ball team.

"Vladdy [Guerrero] is going to put up home runs, but for the most part we're a hit-and-run, gap-to-gap offensive team. I think it's an exciting style."

So does Gary Matthews Jr., the cleanup man who began the season as the leadoff hitter.

"Championships are won on defense, pitching and timely hitting," Matthews said. "You see it every October, all the 2-1, 2-0, 3-2 games in the playoffs. We're going to have to play this style to be successful. Putting runners in motion, putting pressure on the defense. Those are the things that are going to make this team successful."

Johnny Damon, with nine steals, gives the Yankees a leadoff man who will run, and Derek Jeter also is an aggressive baserunner. But this is essentially a station-to-station club that lives with the long ball.

Through Wednesday, the Yankees had outhomered the Angels by 15 and drawn 56 more walks, while the Angels have stolen 14 more bases than the Bronx Bombers.

Clippard, 22, is getting his second shot in the rotation after a strong effort in a win against the Mets.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia will turn over the reins on Saturday and Sunday to bench coach Ron Roenicke. Scioscia is returning home to attend the graduation of his son, Matt, from Crespi High School in Encino, Calif.

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP Jered Weaver (3-3, 3.46 ERA)
In his start against the Yankees last year, Weaver gave up one run in six innings to beat the Bombers.

NYY: RHP Tyler Clippard (1-0, 1.50)
Clippard picked up his first Major League win in style, beating the Mets at Shea Stadium in the Subway Series. The only run he allowed came on a home run to third baseman David Wright.

Player to watch
Jeter is still the man who makes the Yankees go. He's tied with teammate Jorge Posada for the American League batting lead at .367 and has a league-best .444 on-base percentage.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN

On radio
• 710 ESPN, AM 830 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Angels (RHP Kelvim Escobar, 5-2, 2.82) at Yankees (RHP Chien-Ming Wang, 3-3, 4.28), 10:05 a.m. PT
• Sunday: Angels (RHP John Lackey, 7-3, 2.38) at Yankees (RHP Mike Mussina, 2-3, 6.52), 10:05 a.m. PT
• Monday: Mariners (RHP Miguel Batista, 4-4, 5.61) at Angels (RHP Bartolo Colon, 5-1, 4.57), 6:05 p.m. PT

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

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