“Let’s see,” the Angels reliever said. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Uh-oh. He’s afraid of eight.”
“Yeah,” joked Weaver. “Can one of you guys back up?”
Weaver, the Los Angeles rookie who won his first seven major league starts, fell short of his eighth win and got his third straight no-decision Tuesday night. Pinch-hitter Adam Kennedy’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning lifted the Angels to their fourth consecutive win, 5-4 over the Cleveland Indians.
Kennedy’s clutch hit came after a double steal by the Angels, who lead the AL with 105 stolen bases.
“You have to give it up to A.K. for getting that hit and making it all OK,” Weaver said.
Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson homered for the Angels, who entered the series three games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West. Los Angeles is a major league-best 24-10 since the All-Star break.
Weaver was in command and carried a two-hit shutout and 4-0 lead into the sixth before the Indians rallied to tie it.
“It happened so quick,” Weaver said. “Maybe I was thinking ahead a little too much.”
The Angels, though, responded and pushed across the go-ahead run in the eighth. Guerrero and Anderson were on with one out when they broke for third and second, respectively, as Rafael Betancourt (0-4) struck out Tim Salmon swinging.
Kennedy, 0-for-5 as a pinch-hitter this season, then followed by slapping his single into left.
“You just want to stay ready and be aggressive,” Kennedy said. “I wanted to go up there and start hacking away.”
Donnelly (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings in relief of Weaver, who allowed a season-high four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. Scot Shields worked the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez closed for his 28th save, retiring pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth on a grounder with a runner on second to end it.
Grady Sizemore hit a solo homer for Cleveland, which has lost six one-run games since July 30.
“It’s a hard habit to break sometimes,” said Indians starter Jeremy Sowers, who gave up three earned runs in seven innings. “Especially when you are banging on the doors like we are and keep falling short.”
The Indians prevented Weaver from moving to 8-0 with their four-run sixth.
Weaver was only in trouble once in the first five innings, and the one time the Indians got two runners on, the 23-year-old recovered by striking out the side in the third.
But in the sixth, Sizemore ended Weaver’s shutout bid with his 17th homer— the first allowed by Weaver in 46 innings—and Jason Michaels snapped an 0-for-14 slide with a double. One out later, Weaver walked Victor Martinez, and Shin-Soo Choo came through with a double, making it 4-2.
As he dressed at his locker, Donnelly kidded Weaver about his inability to get his eighth victory.
“Apparently he has a phobia of the No. 8,” Donnelly said.
“I just have to get over the hump one of these days,” Weaver countered.
Sowers, who threw consecutive shutouts and had a scoreless innings streak stopped at 22 in his last start, gave up two runs in the second.
Juan Rivera followed with a single, moved up on a groundout and scored on Salmon’s single to center.
The Angels staked Weaver to a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Anderson’s 11th homer this season and first off a lefty.
A throwing error by Sowers helped Los Angeles open a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
“It’s something you work on 1,000 times,” said Sowers, who after cleanly fielding a comebacker threw wildly to second, out of Luna’s reach. “I should have shuffle-stepped but I panicked and threw when he wasn’t there.”
Rodriguez has allowed just one run in his last 22 innings. … Choo’s double ended an 0-for-15 slump for Cleveland with runners in scoring position. … Indians RHP Fausto Carmona, removed from the closer’s job after blowing three saves last week, did make history on the club’s horrific road trip to Boston and Detroit. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carmona joined Minnesota’s Rich Lysander (1983) as the only relievers to lose four games in a seven-day period. … Angels RHP John Lackey was named the AL’s top pitcher for July after going 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA. He pitched back-to-back shutouts, including a one-hitter against Oakland on July 7.