Jered Weaver gets best of Cliff Lee in Angels' 4-1 win over Rangers
Jered Weaver outdueled Cliff Lee in a battle of aces Sunday, the Angels right-hander giving up one unearned run and four hits in seven innings of a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in Angel Stadium.
Weaver (10-7) struck out seven, increasing his American League-leading strikeout total to 162, The Angels, who won two of three games from the Rangers, moved back into second place in the AL West, eight games behind Texas.
Lee gave up four runs and nine hits in eight innings and fell to 9-5 despite throwing his league-leading seventh complete game of the season. Angels reliever Fernando Rodney retired the side in order in the eighth, and closer Brian Fuentes added a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.
Weaver, who lost his two previous starts despite giving up five earned runs in 13 innings against Texas and Boston, pitched his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third inning, getting David Murphy to fly out to shallow right field and Vladimir Guerrero to fly out to center.
The Rangers scored an unearned run in the sixth, an inning that began with Michael Young's grounder going under the glove of Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo for a two-base error. Young scored on Guerrero's double to right-center to pull Texas to within 3-1.
Weaver ran into trouble again in the seventh, when the Rangers put runners on second and third with one out, but after fouling off a pair of full-count pitches, Young flied out to right field, ending the inning.
The Angels got to Lee early, scoring twice in the first inning, a rally that began with Erick Aybar's single to right. Aybar took second on Maicer Izturis' sacrifice bunt and scored on Callaspo's single to right-center.
Torii Hunter singled to center, snapping an 0-for-15 slump and advancing Callaspo to third, and Mike Napoli beat out a fielder's choice grounder to knock in Callaspo for a 2-0 lead. Howie Kendrick doubled to left, but Napoli was thrown out at the plate, catcher Taylor Teagarden withstanding a collision to end the inning.
The Angels made it 3-0 in the fourth when Hunter led off with a single to left, Napoli was hit by a pitch, Kendrick grounded into a fielder's choice, and Juan Rivera grounded out to first, Hunter scoring.
Hunter was in the middle of another scoring rally in the eighth, following Callaspo's one-out walk with a single to center that advanced Callaspo to third. Hunter took second on a throw to third, and after Napoli was walked intentionally to load the bases, Kendrick hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 4-1.
-- Mike DiGiovanna