Weaver sets career high with 15 strikeouts in Angels' 3-1 win over Blue Jays
Jered Weaver had a career-high 15 strikeouts and gave an overworked bullpen a much-need breather on Sunday to lead the Angels to a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Angel Stadium.
Weaver, who led the major leagues with 233 strikeouts last season, allowed one run and four hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking four, to improve to 3-0. His 15 strikeouts were the most by an Angels pitcher since Chuck Finley struck out 15 against the Yankees on May 23, 1995, and were four shy of Nolan Ryan's club record of 19.
Weaver seemed to tire in the eighth when he walked John McDonald and Yunel Escobar wih one out and the Angels leading, 3-1. Though his pitch count was at 119, Manager Mike Scioscia left Weaver in the game to face 2010 major league home run leader Jose Bautista. Weaver fell behind, 3-1, on the count but got strike two on a foul tip and got Bautista to swing at a low slider for strike three.
Weaver was pulled to a rousing standng ovation and replaced by left-hander Hisanori Takahashi, who got Adam Lind to ground back to the mound, ending the inning. Fernando Rodney, pitching for the third straight day, retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.
After eight relievers, including starter Dan Haren, combined for 9 1/3 scoreless innings in Saturday night's 6-5, 14-inning victory, Scioscia needed 1 1/3 inning from the bullpen Sunday.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first when Howie Kendrick walked, took third on Bobby Abreu’s single to right and scored on Torii Hunter’s single to left.
They took advantage of an error to score two unearned runs in the fourth, an inning that started with Alberto Callaspo’s infield single. Mark Trumbo’s fly to center field was dropped by Rajai Davis for an error.
Bobby Wilson flied to left and Brandon Wood struck out, but Peter Bourjos laced a two-run triple to right-center to give the Angels a 3-0 lead.
Weaver lost his no-hitter when Travis Snider reached on an infield single with two outs in the fifth, and he lost his shutout when Jose Molina doubled to open the sixth, took third on McDonald’s single and scored on Escobar’s single.
Weaver struck out Bautista and got Lind to fly to left for the second out, but left fielder Vernon Wells, thinking Lind’s ball was the third out, ducked his head and began jogging toward the dugout after making the catch.
McDonald and Escobar alertly tagged, advancing to second and third, but Wells’ mistake didn’t cost the Angels, as Aaron Hill popped out to first to end the inning, the score remaining 3-1.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver works against the Blue Jays on Sunday at Angel Stadium. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images