Jered Weaver sharp in Angels' 11-0 exhibition victory over Chicago Cubs
Jered Weaver tuned up for his anticipated opening-day start against the Minnesota Twins on Monday night in Angel Stadium with a sparkling five-inning performance in the Angels' 11-0 exhibition victory over the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday.
Weaver allowed one hit -- a second-inning single by Xavier Nady -- struck out nine and walked one, needing only 60 pitches to breeze through five innings.
"I really concentrated on location today -- I threw every pitch where I wanted to," Weaver said. "It was very promising."
Weaver was especially pleased with his slider, which he "threw down in the strike zone when I needed to," he said. "I'd been spiking a lot of those pitches in the dirt."
Weaver has been aligned to start opening day since Cactus League play began in early March, but Manager Mike Scioscia still wouldn't name him as his official opening-day starter Wednesday.
"Obviously, Weav is a guy we targeted," Scioscia said. "If he comes out of this start like we hope, he should be ready."
Reserve outfielder Terry Evans, who entered with a .194 spring average, had five hits -- a two-run homer, a double and three singles -- to raise his average to .293 and boost his chances of making the team.
Mike Napoli hit a prodigious two-run home run to left field off Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano in the first inning -- the catcher's sixth homer of the spring -- outfield prospect Peter Bourjos had an RBI double in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth, and catcher Bobby Wilson (single, RBI double) boosted his chances of making the team.
Weaver also got to bat twice against Zambrano. Well, actually, he came to the plate twice, with orders from Scioscia to not swing.
Weaver took three strikes in the second inning but worked a full count -- impressing hitting coach Mickey Hatcher with his plate discipline -- before striking out in the fourth, laughing at home-plate umpire John Tumpane before heading to the dugout.
"I told him thank you," Weaver said. "I didn't want to run the bases."
-- Mike DiGiovanna in Mesa, Ariz.
Photo: Jered Weaver. Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images.