The Los Angeles Angels have been having trouble scoring and have gotten decent, but not great starting pitching the first week. In the first three games of the Angels series with Texas have seen the Angels again have gotten decent starting pitching with Hector Santiago and Garrett Richards both posting quality starts (6 innings or more giving up three earned runs or less). However they only won one of the first three games of the series.
So with Sunday being the first start from Angels veteran Jered Weaver, who is probably the biggest question mark on the staff, went to the mound in hopes of earning the Angels a split in the series. Weaver was on his game from the outset mixing his low 80’s fastball with his mid 60’s curve ball and change-ups even an occasional slider.
In six innings Weaver gave up only one run a solo shot to Nomar Mazara in the fifth inning. His toughest inning was the fourth as he allowed the first two batters to get two hits, but came back and retired the next three hitters finishing the inning off by getting catcher Bryan Holaday to strike out on a 3-2 slider. His last inning after hitting Mitch Moreland with a pitch got Ian Desmond to fly out and then got the speedy Elvis Andrus to ground into an inning ending double play.
From the seventh inning on the Angels bullpen took over and was lights out giving only one hit in three innings as Fernando Salas, Joe Smith, and Huston Street shut the Rangers offense down to save Weaver’s first win of the season, a win that allows the 33-year old righty to pass Nolan Ryan on the Angels all-time victory list with his 139th career win. Weaver also recorded his 1,499th strike out which means his next start should see him reach the 1,500 K’s club.
Offensively saw the Angels scored two runs in the third inning as Mike Trout drive in a run with a ground out to open the scoring. Later in the inning Albert Pujols came through with a two-out single to allow Tunel Escobar for a 2-0 lead. In the 7th inning the Angels loaded the bases for Trout who hit a sacrifice fly to right to extend a 2-1 to 3-1.
Yunel Escobar went two for three on the game and scored a run. However, the story of the game was Weaver who carved and pushed his way forward for a big win. In the first three games of the series, the Angels lost two of three, before salvaging a split with the defending AL West Champions the Texas Rangers by virtue of a 7th inning insurance run which Mike Trout drove in with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
The Angels end the home stand with a 2-4 record now embark on a nine game road trip starting with three games in Oakland and they will face A’s ace Sonny Gray. The Angels recalled Nick Tropeano to temporarily fill the spot in the rotation left by the injury of Andrew Heaney, the Angels will then go to Minnesota before finishing with three games in Seatlle.