Baseball came back, finally. We can all stop pacing our respective living rooms and escaping to our offices to watch highlights from the first half to get our based ball fix. And the Angels got off to a fine start with their second half opener, downing the visiting Oakland A’s 4-1 on the backs of a fine pitching performance from Jered Weaver, and a few home runs supplying the offense.
The Angels didn’t wait long to get on the board. A first inning RBI double off the bat of Josh Hamilton drove in Mike Trout. Giving the Angels a quick 1-0 lead, and allowing the sell-out crowd relax a little bit. They relaxed a little bit more when $250 million-man, Albert Pujols, hit his 16th home run of the season, pushing the Angels lead to 2-0.
Two innings later, the Angels doubled down on the home runs while doubling up their lead over the A’s. Erick Aybar led the inning off, hooking a flyball down the right field line, sneaking it past the foul pole for his fourth home run of the season. Two batters later, that Mike Trout Kid blasted his 16th big fly of the season. When the dust settled, the score was 4-0, and it was all that Angels pitching would need.
Jered Weaver was not overly dominant tonight. He did strike out eight hitters, but he also walked four in his 6.2 innings of work. But with only four hits allowed, he was able to scatter the eight baserunners he allowed, putting him in-line for his fourth win of the season. A much better start than the one that left a sour taste in Angels fans’ mouth (and presumably, his own) right before the All-Star break.
Scott Downs finished Weaver’s seventh inning by striking out Coco Crisp. Dane De La Rosa (who may pitch every day for the rest of the season after having four days off) threw a scoreless eighth inning. Kevin Jepsen retired no one, allowing two hits and the only A’s run to score.
The run scored made it a save situation, which prompted Mike Scioscia to exit the dugout while wiping baked ziti off of his chin to summon Ernesto Frieri to close things down and send the fans home happy. And that is exactly what he did.