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Second-Place Angels Try To Make Up Ground In AL West, Take On Cubs This Weekend

(Sports Network) – Resurgent right-hander Carlos Silva makes his first appearance since his first loss of the season today when the Chicago Cubs host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to open a three-game interleague series at Wrigley Field.

Silva, who won just five games over 36 starts in 2008-09, was 8-0 in his initial 11 outings of 2010 before dropping a hard-luck 2-1 decision against the Chicago White Sox on June 12.

The 31-year-old allowed seven hits and two runs over seven innings in the loss, actually lowering his season’s earned run average from 2.93 to 2.89.

The defeat was his first at home of the season after four wins in his initial six Wrigley starts. Overall, he’s allowed 42 hits and 14 earned runs in 45 1/3 home innings.

Lifetime against the Angels, Silva, who pitched in the American League from 2004-09, is 7-2 in 13 appearances with one complete game and a 3.77 ERA in 86 innings.

The Cubs enter on a two-game win streak after Kosuke Fukudome’s single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Geovany Soto to give them a 3-2 win over Oakland Athletics in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series.

Xavier Nady tied the game in the eighth with a sacrifice fly and Jeff Baker contributed a solo homer for the Cubs, who have won three of their last four.

Carlos Marmol (2-1) was credited with the win for getting the last two outs of the top of the ninth. Chicago starter Randy Wells threw seven effective innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits with one walk while fanning six.

Lefty Scott Kazmir gets the call for the Angels, who salvaged the finale of a three-game series against Milwaukee with a 5-1 win in Wednesday’s finale.

Bobby Wilson belted his first career homer and Joel Pineiro pitched eight strong innings as the Angels avoided a three-game sweep.

Pineiro (6-6) allowed just three hits, including a Carlos Gomez homer to start the third inning, and won his third straight start. He’s 4-0 lifetime against the Brewers.

Wilson, who started behind the plate, smacked a three-run homer in the second inning. Mike Napoli added a solo shot in the first for the Angels, who have not been swept at home since June 25-27, 2007 vs. Kansas City.

Kazmir, who got a no-decision in one career start against the Cubs, enters on a three-start win streak in which he’s allowed just 13 hits and four runs in 17 innings.

The 26-year-old was 3-5 on the season after dropping an 8-3 verdict to Seattle on May 28, but has rebounded with consecutive road defeats of Kansas City, Oakland and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He is 4-3 overall on the road with a 4.96 ERA in 45 1/3 innings, which is three-tenths of a run lower than his composite ERA over 12 starts.

Chicago took two of three from the Halos the last time these teams met back in 2004.