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Mets-Angels Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Angels have turned around their poor start to 2014.

Now, they're hoping Jered Weaver can do the same.

Weaver looks to avoid opening a season with three straight losses for the first time Saturday night, when the Angels go for a second straight win over the New York Mets.

Los Angeles (5-5) managed only a .177 average with two homers and eight runs as it was swept in a three-game series at home by Seattle to begin the season.

The Angels have put that stretch behind them, winning five of seven while hitting .260 with 10 homers and averaging 5.6 runs. They opened this three-game series with another strong showing at the plate, collecting 11 hits before Hank Conger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to secure a 5-4 win over New York (4-6).

Now Weaver (0-2, 6.00 ERA) will try to follow his team's lead and reverse his own struggles.

The right-hander has lost his first two starts for the first time since 2007. He was hit hard in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-4 loss to Houston on Sunday, matching a career high with four homers allowed over 5 2-3 innings.

"I made a couple of mistakes and they did not miss them, obviously," said Weaver, who also committed an error on a wild throw to first after fielding a bunt. "You know you are going to have games like that, but it is frustrating personally to start the year off like this. I have a bunch more to go, so I am just going to shake this one off and start thinking about who we've got next."

Weaver surrendered six runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 9-6 home loss June 16, 2008, in his only career appearance against the Mets.

He could have a better time Saturday since New York ranks among the worst hitting teams in the majors with a .204 average and 3.8 runs per game.

The Mets had 10 hits with three doubles and a homer in the opener of this series, but went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

Daniel Murphy has been a rare offensive bright spot, batting .333 on the season after collecting five hits in the past two games. Despite two hits Friday, the second baseman is 4 for 18 (.222) in four career meetings with Los Angeles.

David Wright isn't much better with a .233 average in seven games. He's batting .176 with no homers and two RBIs in nine games after opening the season with three hits - including a home run - in a 9-7 loss to Washington.

The Mets are expected to turn to Jonathon Niese, who is making his second start since opening the season on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. The left-hander was solid in his debut Sunday, allowing two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 2-1 home loss to Cincinnati.

"I feel good, felt like the ball was coming out of my hand pretty well, obviously didn't have any pain," Niese said.

Niese will face the Angels for the first time since allowing five runs in four innings of a 7-3 defeat at home June 19, 2011. He owns a 7.29 ERA in his last four road interleague starts.

He'll want to be careful with Mike Trout, who homered for one of his two hits Friday and is batting .483 (14 for 29) in his last eight games against the NL.

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