Angels 1, Orioles 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Jered Weaver rebounded quickly.
The Los Angeles Angels’ right-hander regained his winning form after the worst outing of his rookie season, scattering six hits over seven innings Monday night in a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Last Tuesday at Seattle, Weaver (10-2) gave up four home runs in 4 2-3 innings.
“Coming off that start last time, I knew that I needed to bounce back and have a good one tonight,” said Weaver, who struck out five and walked one. “You’re not going to be perfect every time. You’re going to get banged around, and Seattle got me pretty good. My command wasn’t really that great in that game, so I’m happy to be able to bounce back from that.”
Weaver made his major league debut against Baltimore on May 27 at Anaheim, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing only three hits in a 10-1 victory that triggered the first 9-0 start by an AL rookie since Whitey Ford in 1950.
The only time Baltimore got a runner as far as third base in the rematch was in the fifth, but Ramon Hernandez grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners.
“Jered didn’t have many runs to work with, so everything he did was magnified. And he responded in terrific fashion to hold a 1-0 lead for most of the game,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s a competitor. He doesn’t want to take losing in stride. He wants to get right back on the horse.”
Scot Shields pitched a perfect eighth, and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his 39th save in 42 chances, putting him in a tie with Chicago’s Bobby Jenks for the major league saves lead. Rodriguez has pitched 25 1-3 scoreless innings since giving up a solo homer to Colorado’s Jorge Piedra on June 26.
Los Angeles closed within 6 1/2 games of Oakland, the AL West leader.
Rodrigo Lopez (9-15) allowed a run and five hits over seven innings, struck out four and walked three. The right-hander, who leads the majors in defeats, came in 5-1 against the Angels with a 2.10 ERA.
“It doesn’t make sense, all those losses,” said Adam Kennedy, who drove in the game’s only run with a fourth-inning single. “That’s a huge surprise, just because of the knowledge that he has and the way he pitches. He’s a tough matchup, and he always throws well against us. He moves the ball in the out and throws his offspeed pitches for strikes.”
Orioles left fielder Brandon Fahey ran full speed toward the line and made a diving catch to rob Garret Anderson of extra bases in the fourth. But Juan Rivera followed with a double and scored on Kennedy’s two-out single up the middle—the Angels’ last hit of the game.
Hernandez started behind the plate after missing four games because of a strained intercostal muscle in his right side. Lopez, came in 1-9 with an 8.02 ERA in the other 12 starts that Hernandez has caught him this season. But this time, the batterymates were on the same wavelength—particularly during a second-inning crisis.
The Angels loaded the bases with one out and Hernandez went to the mound after Lopez got behind rookie Mike Napoli 2-1. He retired Napoli on a called third strike and got Chone Figgins on a grounder to shortstop, ending the threat.
“We talked before the game about what we wanted to do, and he came out and executed the way we talked about,” Hernandez said. “He was pitching good, even though he had the bases loaded. I told him, `We need to make a pitch here. If you strike him out, we’ll be in good shape. And if we get the next guy and get out of this inning, it’s going to be a big part of the ballgame.’ So he went right after them.”
Plate umpire Doug Eddings worked his first game at Angel Stadium since last year’s ALCS, when he made one of several controversial rulings that went against the Angels in that series.
Vladimir Guerrero was 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 20 games. … Orioles C Chris Widger, who signed as a free agent on Aug. 6 after getting released by the White Sox, was sent back to Baltimore on Monday night to see a doctor because of the pinched nerve in his neck. … Napoli, the Angels’ rookie catcher, threw out David Newhan and Miguel Tejada trying to steal second base. … Tejada needs 15 hits for his third 200-hit season. He had a career-high 204 hits in 2002 with Oakland, and finished last season with 199.