Angels 3, Royals 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Even without his best stuff, Jered Weaver won again.
Struggling early with his breaking ball, the 6-foot-7 right-hander still became the first rookie in 25 years to win his first seven starts Sunday, pitching the Los Angeles Angels past the Kansas City Royals 3-1.
Not since Fernando Valenzuela went 8-0 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 had any rookie launched his career with seven wins in seven starts.
“We’re getting wins. That’s all I really care about,” Weaver said. “For my first seven, I’ve been able to do that. We’ve just got to keep it rolling, and hopefully we’ll get good defense like we’ve been having in my seven games.”
How good has the No. 12 pick of the 2004 draft been?
He went 6 2-3 innings in his second start against Kansas City, giving up three hits and one run. His ERA actually went UP—from 1.12 to 1.15 in 47 innings.
“What I was impressed with was the way Jered pitched around the fact he didn’t have command of his breaking ball, although he wasn’t missing by much,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He was able to get his fastball over, and he threw some nice breaking balls when he had to. But he pitched without his best stuff.”
This seventh straight victory, and the way Weaver got it, did a lot to boost his confidence.
“Being able to get people out when I didn’t have my best stuff, it’s definitely a confidence-builder,” he said. “That was the big key.”
It was the first time Weaver has allowed more than two walks. While beating Baltimore, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Oakland and Kansas City twice, he’s never given up more than five hits or two earned runs.
Still, the Royals were a bit perplexed.
“We sat around and talked about it afterward,” Mark Teahen said. “He’s not throwing anything up there we haven’t seen. Not great stuff. But he makes his pitches, works both sides of the plate and he’s got a little deception with that turn he’s got. He’s kind of throwing across his body. I feel like I saw him all right. But he’s hot right now.”
Is he as good as his stats?
“I don’t know if anybody’s as good as his stats are right now,” Teahen said. “His stats right now are ridiculous. I doubt his whole career he has stats like that. But he’s making his pitches when he needs to.”
Quinlan had a two-run single off Brandon Duckworth (1-4) as the Angels beat the Royals for the 11th time in their last 13 games in Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals had only one hit—a second-inning single that was first ruled a fielder’s choice—until Doug Mientkiewicz singled with one out in the sixth. With two outs, Teahen’s double to left-center broke up the shutout.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the second when Kennedy’s RBI single scored Juan Rivera, who was hit by a pitch with two outs. In the fourth, the Angels loaded the bases on a double and two walks, and Quinlan’s bases-loaded single made it 3-0.
The Royals’ first hit was originally ruled a fielder’s choice when Berroa hit a sharp grounder to the right of shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
Cabrera made the pickup, then feigned a throw to first as Berroa, a good runner, sped to the bag.
Berroa first was given a fielder’s choice on the play, but it was later changed to an infield single.
Duckworth went five innings and was charged with three runs, five hits and four walks.
The Royals have drawn 133 walks in the last 30 games. … The Royals have homered only twice in nine games. … Chone Figgins made an outstanding running catch of Mark Grudzielanek’s drive into the right-center gap in the sixth. … Howie Kendrick was called out for batter interference as Figgins stole second in the Angels’ seventh.