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Angels Send Weaver To Tame Guerrero, Rangers In Series Finale

(Sports Network) - As Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers turn the page on an outstanding June, the arrival of Vladimir Guerrero's old team has him getting in on the offensive act as well.

Hamilton and Guerrero will attempt to lead their club to a club-record ninth straight series victory tonight in the finale of a three-game series with the hosting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Rangers went 21-6 in June for a franchise single-month record .778 winning percentage. Hamilton was at the front of that surge as he carries a career- best 23-game hit streak into tonight's contest. He is batting .457 (43-for-94) over his run and also set club single-month records with 49 hits to go along with nine homers and 31 RBI.

Hamilton hit a ground-rule double in his final at-bat of last night's 6-4 victory to extend his run, while Vladimir Guerrero had four hits and a pair of homers. Guerrero spent his previous six seasons with the Angels and has three homers and eight RBI over this series' first two games, his first visit to Anaheim since last season.

"We didn't pitch him the way we tried to," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He's as dangerous as anybody in the league right now."

Guerrero had just 15 homers and 50 RBI last year, but has already posted 18 homers and 68 RBI this season. He hit a fourth-inning grand slam on Tuesday and added a solo shot in the eighth inning to draw even with Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for the most RBI in the majors.

"I was looking to swing hard, and I got a 2-0 changeup, and I swung hard," said Guerrero of his grand slam that erased a three-run deficit. "I'm swinging the bat well. I appreciated my years here, but I'm trying to help my team win."

Texas has won 14 of its last 16 and leads Los Angeles by 4 1/2 games for first place in the American League West.

Erick Aybar homered and drove in two runs for the Angels, who still fell to 5-3 on a 12-game homestand that next features a visit from the Royals. Los Angeles also ended June with a solid 18-9 mark.

Jered Weaver will try to pitch his Angels club to a victory in tonight's rubber match and he is 2-0 over his last three starts with a 2.25 earned run average.

After winning back-to-back starts, the right-hander did not factor into the decision of Friday's start versus the Rockies. Weaver allowed just two runs and five hits over seven innings of a 4-3 extra-inning loss and struck out 11 for a second straight start to up his AL-leading total to 118.

Weaver is 7-3 with a 3.01 ERA this year, and 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA in seven home starts, but was pounded for seven runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings of a no-decision versus the Rangers on May 18. Guerrero, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young all homered off the 27-year-old.

He is 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 15 career starts versus the Rangers, while Hamilton is 7-for-18 against Weaver lifetime with four doubles.

Texas counters with C.J. Wilson, who is 3-0 over his last five starts with a 3.09 ERA and 6-3 this season with a 3.35 ERA. Facing the Astros for the second straight start, the left-hander held them to a pair of runs over seven innings of a victory on Saturday.

Wilson is 1-2 with five saves and a 5.59 ERA in 29 career games versus the Angels, but just two of those are starts. The 29-year-old faced Weaver and Los Angeles on May 18 and also got a no-decision despite yielding seven runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Torii Hunter homered off Wilson and joined Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera with two RBI each off the starter.

The Rangers swept a brief two-game series in Texas over the Angels on May 17-18 and split the 10 meetings in Anaheim a season ago.