Angels 3, Dodgers 0
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Jered Weaver had a day to remember in his first start at Dodger Stadium, a place he revered growing up. Only he was wearing red and pitching for the opposing team.
Weaver won his fifth consecutive decision and Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick keyed a two-out, three-run rally with RBI singles in the fifth inning, helping the Los Angeles Angels defeat the Dodgers 3-0 Saturday.
“It was pretty exciting taking the mound and having my parents be there and see their little boy finally pitch in Dodger Stadium,” Weaver said. “But once you get out there, you kind of forget about that stuff and you just want to battle.”
Weaver and Dodgers starter Jason Schmidt didn’t give an inch through four scoreless innings, although Weaver’s single to right off Schmidt in the third was his first major-league hit.
“It was definitely a lucky swing. There’s no hitting ability in this body at all,” said Weaver, who set aside his bat to give to his father.
Weaver (6-3) allowed four hits in 5 1-3 innings, with four walks and three strikeouts to give the Angels’ rotation its major league-leading 38th win.
Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the ninth for his AL-leading 22nd save in 23 chances.
It was a costly victory, though. Left fielder Garret Anderson went on the DL after the game, having re-aggravated his right hip while making a backhanded catch in the first.
First baseman Casey Kotchman sustained a concussion in the seventh after being hit in the helmet on an intended pickoff throw at second by catcher Russell Martin as he slid back to the bag on his belly.
Kotchman walked off under his own power and went to a hospital for further testing. “He was woozy,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
The loss ended the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak and dropped them out of first place in the NL West after another spotty performance by Schmidt (1-4).
The right-hander gave up three runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings, walked four, struck out two and had two wild pitches.
Schmidt’s pitches topped out at 88 mph in his third start since being activated from the DL on June 5 after missing 45 games with bursitis in his right shoulder. He lasted just four innings against Toronto last Sunday.
“Something’s just still not right,” he said. “Everything’s not quite there, so I keep experimenting. I just didn’t feel like myself. The ball isn’t coming out of my hand as smoothly as I’d like. It could be mechanical, it could be anything. But I’m not going to open a can of worms on this thing.”
Many of Schmidt’s changeups are staying flat instead of diving and his fastballs are running and cutting.
“There’s still certain pitches that he’s not comfortable throwing right now,” pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. “It’s his slider and his curveball that he’s not using as much as he probably would under normal circumstances, and he doesn’t have his normal fastball. We’re only seeing part of him.”
Five consecutive Angels got on base in the fifth, with three of them scoring.
Willits drove a 1-2 pitch to right field to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead, which chased Schmidt. Willits entered the game in the second as a defensive replacement for Anderson.
“It was good to get in there and put some runs up for our pitching staff,” Willits said.
With shortstop Rafael Furcal covering at second base, a hole was left for Kendrick, who followed with an RBI single to left center off Rudy Seanez that made it 3-0. Mike Napoli struck out to end the inning.
The Dodgers stranded nine runners, including three in the second when Schmidt grounded out to end the inning.
Anderson, who came off the DL nine games ago after missing more than a month, is now day-to-day. … Dodgers 1B Nomar Garciaparra was supposed to get the day off until he pinch hit in the fifth. The Dodgers rested 2B Jeff Kent. … Angels RF Vladimir Guerrero went 0-for-3, with an intentional walk and got hit by a pitch in the fifth.