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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It had been awhile since Jered Weaver last pitched in a major league game, even longer since his last game at Angel Stadium. But Weaver pitched as he has throughout his career Wednesday night, which is why the Los Angeles Angels missed him as much as they did during his absence.
Weaver pitched six strong innings in his first game back since breaking a bone in his left elbow, leading the Angels to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium.
Weaver had not pitched since April 7, when he landed awkwardly on his arm while avoiding a line drive hit by the Texas Rangers' Mitch Moreland. Seven weeks later, he looked like his old self, allowing one run and five hits while striking out seven. He didn't walk a batter.
"I was just worried about getting the first out, that was the most nerve-wracking part," Weaver said. "When you haven't been out there for a while, you ask yourself, can I still do this? As soon as you get that first out, you kind of get the confidence back and try to get in a groove from there, and I was able to do that."
Weaver (1-1) was perfect through four innings before the Dodgers mounted their only threat against him all night. Andre Ethier led off the fifth inning with a double, but Weaver struck out Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke. With two outs, Skip Schumaker flared a single to center to score Ethier, and A.J. Ellis and Luis Cruz followed with singles to load the bases.
Weaver escaped further damage by retiring Carl Crawford on a grounder to first.
"He's a little bit like a (Hyun-Jin) Ryu, where he's a little bit of this, a little bit of that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Weaver. "He knows how to elevate, he's got a little bit of an angle, he cross-fires a little bit on you. He knows what he's doing. It took us awhile, it started to look like we got to him a little bit there, but he got the big out with the bases loaded."
Mark Trumbo snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run off Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (1-4) in the fifth inning. Erick Aybar had three hits, including an RBI double. Chris Iannetta had two hits, and Trumbo added a sacrifice fly.
The story of the night, however, was the return of Weaver.
"It's almost like Opening Day for him again," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think that he knows what he means to us, and he knows what he can do out there on the mound, and you saw it tonight."
Weaver was finished after 86 pitches, as he still is building up stamina and arm strength following the time off. Kevin Jepsen and Garrett Richards each threw a perfect inning in relief of Weaver. Ernesto Frieri gave up solo home runs to Adrian Gonzalez and Van Slyke in the ninth, but he managed to close it out for his 11th save.
"That's a guy (Frieri) that usually takes a lot of pitches to close out a game, so he's a guy you're just looking to get that tying run to the plate," Mattingly said. "Adrian's at-bat, and Scott's, it was good to see, but it doesn't change anything."
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who left Tuesday's game early because of numbness in his elbow after being hit by a pitch, left Wednesday's game in the seventh inning with strained right hamstring. He'll be re-evaluated Thursday.
The Angels wasted a scoring chance in the first inning when they left the bases loaded, but they got a clutch, two-out hit in the second inning. Iannetta doubled with one out in the second, and he scored one out later on Aybar's double to right-center for a 1-0 lead.
NOTES: Angels CF Peter Bourjos, on the disabled list since April 30 with a strained left hamstring, is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week. Bourjos was hitting .313 in 22 games before being injured running to first on a ground ball. ... Angels RF Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup Wednesday after being scratched from Tuesday's game because of back spasms. ... Angels RHP Tommy Hanson is expected to rejoin the rotation and start Friday against the Houston Astros. Hanson hasn't pitched since May 4 as he has dealt with issues related to the death of his 26-year-old stepbrother. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday. Ramirez started the season on the disabled list because of a torn thumb ligament suffered playing in the World Baseball Classic during the spring. After recovering from the thumb injury, he played in only four games with the Dodgers before he strained his left hamstring on May 3.