Jered Weaver excellent in first start back from right biceps tendinitis

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It looks like some rest was just what the doctor ordered for Jered Weaver, as he helped the Angels avoid a sweep by blanking the Athletics 6-0 this afternoon.

Weaver, who was skipped in the rotation last week due to right biceps tendinitis, allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings while striking out nine and walking just one. He didn’t allow a baserunner to advance past second base. Weaver improved to 17-4 with the win and now holds a 2.74 ERA across 26 starts this season.

Weaver and Brett Anderson actually matched zeroes over the first six innings before the Angels plated all six of their runs in the bottom of the seventh. Torii Hunter got the scoring started with a solo shot to lead off the inning while Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo followed with RBI singles. Mike Trout scored on a passed ball while Hunter appropriately put a cap on the rally with an RBI single.

This was still a disappointing week for the Angels, as they ended up losing three out of four at home to fall three back (four in the loss column) to the Yankees for the second Wild Card, but Weaver’s start today can be viewed as a major positive. The Angels will begin a three-game set against the Royals tomorrow night with C.J. Wilson on the hill against Bruce Chen.

As for the Athletics, their 12-game road winning streak is over. They’ll begin a three-game series with the Orioles tomorrow night at home with Tommy Milone going up against Joe Saunders. Wouldn’t have guessed in April that this would be appointment viewing, but it absolutely is.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.