Jered Weaver gave up a run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings and rookie Jordan Walden nailed down his first save of the season Tuesday, lifting the Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Weaver (2-0) struck out six and retired the side in order three times, running his career record against the Rays to 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA in six starts. And the quality start was the 29th in 36 tries dating to the start of last season -- only reigning Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez has more over that span.
The only run he gave up came in the third inning, when former Angel Sean Rodriguez drove a hanging slider into the left-center-field bleachers. But Weaver gave up just one more hit after that before turning the game over to the Angels' troubled bullpen, which nearly gave the game away.
Hisanori Takahashi replaced Weaver and walked the first batter he faced, then gave up a disputed infield single to the second, loading the bases. When the left-hander walked another man leading off the eighth, he was pulled in favor of Michael Kohn, who gave up a two-run homer to B.J. Upton.
Kohn eventually escaped the inning without further damage and Walden, handed the closer's role earlier in the day, pitched a perfect ninth to end the Angels' three-game losing streak.
The Angels jumped on Rays' starter Jeff Niemann early, scoring three first-inning runs on four singles and two stolen bases. They made it 4-0 in the second on a leadoff home run by Hank Conger, his first in the majors.
Then, after Rodriguez homered to get the Rays on the scoreboard, Howie Kendrick started the fifth with a triple and came home on Torii Hunter's second run-scoring single of the game.
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-- Kevin Baxter in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Photo: Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during the Angels' 5-3 victory Tuesday. Credit: Mike Carlson / Associated Press