Angels avoid shutout but still lose to Athletics, 3-1
The Angels finally scored for Jered Weaver on Saturday, Torii Hunter's eighth-inning solo home run snapping a string of 31 1/3 innings over five games in which they hadn't scored with their ace on the mound. Hunter's shot to left-center field, his 19th of the season, also snapped a streak of 20 games in which the cleanup batter had not driven in a run.
That made a 3-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics just a little bit easier to digest for the Angels, who lost their second straight game in the Oakland Coliseum and remain 10 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West.
Oakland right-hander Trevor Cahill blanked the Angels for six innings despite walking six and allowing four hits to improve to 15-6, while Weaver fell to 11-11 despite another quality start, in which he gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings and struck out five.
The Angels were shut out in each of Weaver's three previous starts, and they have scored only 26 runs in Weaver's last 14 starts. They were shut out in Friday night's series opener against the A's and have been shut out in three of their last seven games.
The Angels didn't help themselves on the basepaths Saturday, either. After Alberto Callaspo opened the game with a single and Howie Kendrick walked, Callaspo, with a full count on Bobby Abreu, took off for third too early and was picked off by Cahill. Abreu struck out, Hunter walked, and Hideki Matsui grounded out to end the inning.
Callaspo singled with one out in the fifth and made an ill-advised attempt to take third on Kendrick's sharp single to right. Callaspo was thrown out by right fielder Rajai Davis, and Abreu struck out to end the inning.
Oakland scored in the first inning on Jack Cust's RBI single, in the second on Cliff Pennington's RBI single and in the sixth on Mark Ellis' RBI single.
--Mike DiGiovanna in OaklandPhoto: Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver. Credit: Tony Avelar