Weaver outduels Halladay, Angels beat Blue Jays 3-0 to maintain AL West lead
“It kind of raises your level of intensity going up against a guy like that,” Weaver said. “It was fun battling against him.”
Weaver (9-6) scattered five hits, struck out five and walked one in his second career start against the Blue Jays. The right-hander had a 6.83 ERA over his previous five starts, allowing six earned runs against Detroit, Seattle and Boston during that stretch.
“I was just able to stay consistent tonight,” Weaver said. “Going into the fifth inning, I knew I had to raise my level of concentration—just because the Boston game got away from me in the fifth inning. I was able to make some pitches when I needed to and got out of there all right.”
Justin Speier and Scot Shields each pitched a scoreless inning and Francisco Rodriguez did likewise in the ninth for his 32nd save in 36 chances, helping the Angels improve their home record to a major league-best 43-19 and maintain their one-game lead over Seattle in the AL West.
“Anytime you can get through six with a lead and you’ve got Speier, Shields and Frankie coming in behind you, you’re pretty confident it’s going to be a victory,” Weaver said. “It’s obviously been a good combination for us the whole season.”
Halladay (14-6) allowed 12 hits, struck out five and walked none. Despite the loss, the four-time All-Star notched his major league-leading sixth complete game and 30th in 216 career starts—including a five-hit, 4-1 victory over the Angels on Aug. 14 at Toronto.
“More than anything, it’s just about going as far as I can,” said Halladay, who pitched a career-high and major league-leading nine complete games during his 2003 Cy Young season. “It’s never been a goal to throw so many complete games. It’s just trying to get as deep as you can every time out. When you go out for a game, you think the ninth inning is the finish line instead of the sixth.”
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons did everything he could to keep Halladay in there just in case the Blue Jays’ offense was able to do something in the late innings.
“You obviously appreciate that coming from a manager,” said Halladay, who threw 111 pitches. “I knew I was getting high on pitches going back out for the eighth, but I’m glad he stuck with me. It means a lot to guys when he’s going to let you stick it out, because you never know what’s going to happen in the ninth.”
The last time Halladay pitched at Angel Stadium, on Sept. 10, 2006, he didn’t make it out of the first inning. He was forced from the game when Garret Anderson’s line drive struck him on his pitching elbow.
This time, it was Anderson’s arm that helped send Halladay to defeat.
The Blue Jays ran themselves out of a possible run in the fifth when John McDonald tried to advance from first to third on Reed Johnson’s single to left and was cut down by Anderson’s perfect one-hop throw to Izturis.
“That was huge because you could have had first and third with (Lyle) Overbay up, and he’s been really swinging the bat well against us,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “So for us to get out of that inning right there, it was big. That throw that Garret made is one of the best we’ve seen this year.”
Scioscia refused to criticize McDonald for trying to take a page out of his playbook and risk making the last out of the inning. The Angels have gone from first to third on a single 105 times this season, the most in the majors.
“We’re as aggressive as anybody, so I liked their aggressiveness,” Scioscia said. “It’s going to take a perfect throw. And if Garret doesn’t make one, we’ve got to hold a runner on at first—which creates a huge hole for a left-handed hitter like Overbay.”
The Angels got the jump on Halladay with run-scoring singles from Guerrero and Izturis. Cabrera’s RBI single came in the seventh.
“They were finding ways to put the ball in play and they squeezed out some hits,” Halladay said. “I don’t know what we could have done different. Vlad hit a good pitch that was in. Then we jammed Izturis, and it kind of fell in. They grind out runs and they make it tough on you.”
Guerrero, who leads the Angels with 104 RBIs and homered twice in Thursday night’s 5-4 loss, has no extra-base hits in 31 career at-bats against Halladay. … Toronto 3B Troy Glaus, the former Angels slugger and 2002 World Series MVP, was 0-for-3. He still doesn’t have a hit at Angel Stadium in 16 official at-bats since leaving the Halos to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent after the 2004 season. … Aaron Hill’s second-inning double extended Toronto’s streak of consecutive games with a two-base hit to 31, tying the franchise record set in 2004. … The 12 hits Halladay gave up tied his season high. It was the sixth time in 25 starts this season that he allowed double digits in hits, and is 0-5 in those games.