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Angels' Weaver becomes AL's first 20-game winner of 2012

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jered Weaver became the American League's first 20-game winner this season with a strong start against the Texas Rangers on Friday night -- the last place you would expect Weaver to reach a positive milestone.

Going into the game, Weaver was 3-7 with a 5.05 ERA in 15 starts in the hitter-friendly park.

"I think it's been a nightmare for a lot of pitchers," Weaver said. "It's tough to pitch here, no doubt about it. They've got a great lineup and the stadium fits their lineup perfectly. You never get a break with those guys."

Weaver allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings, running his record to 20-4. He is only the seventh pitcher in Angels history to win 20 games in a season (Nolan Ryan did it twice), the first since Bartolo Colon in 2005. Colon also won the AL Cy Young Award that season. But Weaver wanted no talk about awards.

"It's a great personal accomplishment, no doubt," Weaver said. "Go back to the no-hitter (in May) -- I never thought in a million years I would throw a no-hitter in the big leagues. And I never thought I would win 20 games in the big leagues."

Manager Mike Scioscia made the Cy Young case for his ace instead. Weaver leads the American League in wins, win percentage (.833) and WHIP (1.00) while ranking third in ERA (2.73).

"We're not in a pennant race without him, obviously," Scioscia said. "If you just look at what he's done virtually every start, I don't think there's a more consistent pitcher in our league.

"No doubt, he's a front-runner (for the Cy Young Award). I think he's pitched the way you would expect an ace to pitch. He's had the type of year a Cy Young winner has. ... It's an honor he deserves and hopefully he'll be rewarded with it."
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