Weaver, Miscue Spell Doom for Angels in Series Opener

By Michael Hllywa

Jun 21, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver (36) walks towards the dugout after pitching against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Angels fans on their way to the stadium today, were in for a treat of a game this evening. Jered Weaver was on the mound for the Angels. Opposing him, was the Pittsburgh Pirates up-and-coming young starter, Gerrit Cole. But was supposed to be a delicious, dessert-like treat of a game, quickly turned into a big helping of spinach.

After both starters threw scoreless innings in the first, Weaver got jumped in the second when Pedro Alvarez led the inning off with his 17th home run of the season. Four batters later, Jody Mercer touched up Weaver for the second home run of the inning when he belted a two-run shot to left field, driving home Travis Snider in the process. The Pirates then tacked on another run in the fourth when Starling Marte tripled to center on a ball that Peter Bourjos lost in the early evening sky, allowing Neil Walker to score from first base.

Gerrit Cole, was as-billed in what was his third big league start. Pumping premium gas (touching triple digits multiple times), and working quickly and efficiently. But in the seventh inning, the young fireballer ran into trouble. Albert Pujols led the inning off with his 13th home run of the season. The home run was also the first home run allowed by Cole. And as Victor Rojas stated in the broadcast: “If you’re going to give up your first big league home run, it might as well be to Albert Pujols.”

After Mark Trumbo moved up to second on a Howie Kendrick ground out that deflected off of Cole’s thigh, Alberto Callaspo brought him in with an RBI single to center field. The run scoring single cut the Pirates lead in half, but it was the closest that the Angels would get to the Steel City team.

The Pirates added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning when Andrew McCutchen doubled home Jody Mercer, but with Jason Grilli already prepared to come into the game, it was as good as over without the added run. Grilli set Pujols, Trumbo and Kendrick down in order, and the lights in the halo were left dark as the Angels record fell to 33-41 on the season.

The Angels are back at it tomorrow when Jerome Williams gets the ball in the place of Jason Vargas who went on to the DL with a blood clot in his left armpit area. Vargas is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Opposite Williams will be the resurgent Francisco Liriano. Game time is at 7:05 PM PST. Light up the fail-o, beer me, barkeep.