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Angels' Weaver stays perfect at Progressive Field

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- Jered Weaver has been unbeatable at Progressive Field, and Friday night that trend continued. Weaver pitched seven strong innings and Josh Hamilton belted a three-run home run as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2.

The win by the Angels snaps their four-game losing streak while Cleveland's loss extends its losing streak to five games.

The Angels scored all their runs in the first inning, but that was enough. Weaver (7-5) pitched seven innings, holding Cleveland to two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

"He didn't have his best stuff, but he worked his way through a tough lineup," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He pitched seven strong innings."

Dane De La Rosa pitched the ninth to pick up his first major league save.

"When you're down 5-0, that's a hard way to play, especially against a guy like Weaver, who knows how to pitch with a lead like that," said Indians manager Terry Francona.

Prior to the game, the Indians recalled pitcher Carlos Carrasco from Triple-A Columbus in case they needed a long reliever Friday night. As it turned out they did, because starter Scott Kazmir (7-5) only pitched three innings.

"He didn't have his best stuff right from the start," said Francona of Kazmir. "I think he felt a little tired but he wanted to answer the bell because he knew how important the game was to us."

Carrasco came on to start the fifth inning and he pitched well, going five scoreless innings while yielding one hit. But the Indians offense was stifled by Weaver, who came into the game as statistically one of the best pitchers in the history of Progressive Field, which opened in 1994.

In eight career starts at Progressive Field prior to Friday night, Weaver was 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA. That 1.52 ERA is the lowest all-time at Progressive Field for any pitcher with a minimum of 40 innings pitched. Counting his win Friday Weaver is now 6-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his career at Progressive Field.

"I feel comfortable in this park," he said. "I was pretty erratic early on, but I was able to settle in a little bit later. My command probably wasn't as good as it has been in the past. They hit some balls hard but they were right at people. The defense played well behind me."

The only runs allowed by Weaver came on two solo home runs. Other than that, Cleveland had trouble mounting any rallies against the veteran right-hander.

Before Friday, Kazmir had not lost since June 10. In his last nine starts he was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA. But the Angels jumped on him during a 40-pitch first inning, when Kazmir threw 25 pitches before recording his first out.

"I'm going through a little bit of a dead arm stage," said Kazmir. "I thought I could gut it out, but it just didn't work out."

J.B. Shuck and Collin Cowgill led off the game with singles, and Mike Trout walked to load the bases. A single by Mark Trumbo scored Shuck and Cowgill to make the score 2-0. Chris Nelson struck out, but Hamilton belted a 2-2 pitch into the seats in right field for a three-run home run, his 17th of the season, and the Angels had a 5-0 lead.

"The first inning was huge. It was good to see Josh bust out, especially against a left-handed pitcher. Five runs was great for us," said Scioscia.

"The home run was the huge blow," said Francona.

Kazmir retired the next eight batters, but when Erick Aybar singled leading off the fourth inning Francona removed Kazmir from the game.

Cleveland cut into the Angels' lead with two solo home runs, by Michael Brantley in the second inning and by Asdrubal Cabrera in the fourth, reducing the Angels' lead to 5-2. But that's as close as Cleveland got.

Notes: Indians RHP Preston Guilmet was optioned to Triple-A Columbus prior to Friday's game. ... The baseball field at Trout's high school in Millville, N.J., will be dedicated as "Mike Trout Field" on Monday. Trout donated funds for the refurbishment of the facility. ... Shuck leads all American League rookies in hits (78) and doubles (14).
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