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SEA@LAA: Weaver fans eight Mariners in no-decision

In the first two games of this series between American League playoff contenders, Baltimore has proven immune to the dominating advantage the Angels have held at their home stadium this year. Now they just have to hope Anaheim native Chris Tillman can finish off his hometown team on Wednesday to complete the sweep.

Baltimore's win on Tuesday snapped the Angels' franchise record of 10 straight home series victories.

The Angels still have the best record in baseball since June 6, though, at 28-12, and could salvage Wednesday's game to avoid being swept at Angel Stadium for the first time since the Mariners pulled off the feat in the season's opening series.

Tillman has recently been strong, though, as five of his last six outings have been quality starts (at least six innings pitched, no more than three earned runs allowed). During that span he's lowered his ERA from 4.82 to 4.03.

The righty has, however, been pushing the limits as a fly-ball pitcher in his last three starts, as hitters have produced 42 fly balls and just 18 grounders against him.

That could prove to be dangerous against the powerful lineup of the Angels, who will send the equally hot Jered Weaver to the hill.

Weaver hasn't lost a decision since June 16, and has given up two runs or less in five of his six starts since then. He pitched six shutout innings in his last start against Seattle before giving up two hits to start the seventh. Both runners scored against reliever Mike Morin.

"Scioscia wanted to take me out after that sixth inning -- I think I was riding a high wave and had a lot of confidence and wanted to go back out there for the seventh but obviously didn't prevail," Weaver said. "If I had to do it all over again, probably would've just let Morin come in and have a fresh inning there in the seventh."

The veteran has been dynamite at home, though, recording a 2.70 ERA at Angel Stadium as opposed to a 4.45 ERA on the road.

The Angels will have to hope that Weaver still can produce some home cookin' and reverse their surprising struggles against Baltimore in Orange County thus far.

Orioles: Machado a surprising late scratch on Tuesday
Manny Machado was a last-minute scratch from Baltimore's starting lineup on Tuesday with back tightness, and his status is still unknown for Wednesday.

Machado's absence was surprising, considering the 22-year-old had not missed any previous time this season with a back injury. He's played in 66 games for Baltimore this season after missing the first month recovering from offseason knee surgery and recently serving a five-game suspension. He also sat out a couple games in May with a right groin injury.

Machado was replaced by Ryan Flaherty at third base, who moved down to the eighth spot in the batting order. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop moved up from ninth to Machado's original spot at seventh with catcher Caleb Joseph moving down to hit last.

Machado entered the day batting .267 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs.

Angels: Scioscia sticking with eight-man bullpen for now
On Tuesday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the club would keep its current eight-man bullpen until the end of its 10-game homestand.

The Angels are waiting for the bullpen to recover from pitching 16 1/3 innings last weekend, injured starter C.J. Wilson to return and Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago to get back into a regular routine with four days' rest.

"There are some things on the horizon that are probably going to keep us at a 13-man pitching staff definitely through the weekend," Scioscia said. "The off-day's Monday and we'll assess things and see where we are."

With Jason Grilli, Joe Thatcher and Huston Street added to the mix in recent trades, the Angels' 'pen has been one of the best in baseball this month.

Entering Tuesday, their relief corps had ranked second in the Majors in ERA (1.55) in July and third in WHIP (0.97), while converting eight of nine save chances.

But the unit's old demons showed up again on Tuesday, as Morin gave up three runs in one inning to take the loss against Baltimore in addition to Fernando Salas allowing one earned run in 1 2/3 innings.

Still, Kevin Jepsen, the longest-tenured Angels reliever, called the unit "extensively better" after the aggressive moves made by general manager Jerry Dipoto and believes it's "the best bullpen I've been a part of."

Worth noting
• Tillman will be the 12th straight right-handed pitcher to start against the Angels.

• Only one Angel (John McDonald) has multiple hits against Tillman, though no Angel has more than 10 plate appearances against the righty.

• Ubaldo Jimenez is slated to throw his second bullpen session on Wednesday. In his last bullpen session, he favored his ankle too much to be sent down to the Minors for a rehab assignment.

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