"Uplifting" is probably too strong a word to describe an intrasquad game, especially when you're a Cy Young Award contender who's accustomed to pitching in big settings.

But for Angels ace Jered Weaver, Thursday's 6 1/3-inning outing against his organization's Minor Leaguers at Tempe Diablo Stadium seemed a little bigger than the controlled setting. It was his second-to-last start before Opening Day, and it followed up a rough one against the A's last Saturday, when he gave up eight runs, battled a "dead arm" and only got two innings under his belt.

"It's great that I was able to go out and get up seven times," said Weaver, who gave up two runs on nine hits and struck out five batters. "I think I threw 89 pitches. It's good, with the arm strength, to know that I can at least get through the seventh and it still felt good. I don't think that start before is going to play a factor into me getting deep in games or not.

"It was uplifting, to get out there and feel like I did my first couple starts in spring. That's a good step in the right direction."

Weaver, who also put down a couple of bunts at the plate, will take his last spring turn on Tuesday night against the D-backs at Salt River Fields. Then, he'll make his fourth straight Opening Day start under the National League rules in Cincinnati on April 1.