Scioscia on Weaver's Cy Young chances

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows there are several strong candidates for the American League Cy Young award, but on a night when his team was facing one of them -- Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez -- Scioscia made the case for his own ace, Jered Weaver.

"There's no doubt he's in the middle of the conversation," Scioscia said. "I don't think there's anybody that can deny that. I think Weave has meant more to our team than probably any pitcher on any staff just for the fact that we're even talking about a pennant race. Weave had to step up and do what he can do because for a while he was lone soldier out there start after start when the rest of our rotation was trying to find itself for what seemed like an eternity. Weave was the only guy out there giving us what he had and giving us production we expected, which at least kept our heads above water."

Weaver is first or tied for first in the AL in winning percentage (.826), wins (19), WHIP (1.00), third in ERA (2.74) and he's holding hitters to a .213 batting average, best in the American League. Weaver, however, has probably dropped behind Justin Verlander, Hernandez and David Price in the Cy Young conversation but his 2.10 ERA in September has him right back in the conversation and the Angels right back in playoff contention.

"He's kept us in a position to reach our goals," Scioscia said. "Maybe the one thing a starting pitcher cannot control is a win or a loss, but he's pitched well enough and deep enough into games on a consistent basis to have a chance to win 20 games and that says a lot for how consistent he's been."

Tonight's lineups:

Seattle Mariners:

Dustin Ackley, 2B

Franklin Gutierrez, CF

Kyle Seager, 3B

Jesus Montero, DH

Justin Smoak, 1B

Miguel Olivo, C

Casper Wells, RF

Chone Figgins, LF

Brendan Ryan, SS

Felix Hernandez, P

Los Angeles Angels:

Mike Trout, CF

Torii Hunter, RF

Albert Pujols, 1B

Kendrys Morales, DH

Alberto Callaspo, 3B

Howie Kendrick, 2B

Erick Aybar, SS

Mark Trumbo, LF

Chris Iannetta, C

C.J. Wilson, P