Weaver seeks another solid performance and some support from his surging offense while helping Los Angeles earn a fifth straight home win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.
The Angels (50-58) entered this series coming off three-game sweeps at the hands of AL West rivals Oakland and Texas, but they haven't had much trouble with Toronto.
J.B. Shuck drove in three runs in Thursday's 8-2 victory before Kole Calhoun capped a four-hit night with a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth in Friday's 7-5 win."Not all the wins are going to come easy, especially with our backs against the wall," Calhoun said. "We're going to have to beat those All-Star guys. We're going to have to compete."
Shuck tripled home the tying run earlier in the eighth. He also robbed Jose Bautista of a home run in left field, jumping high above the fence to make the grab before tumbling into the crowd for one of baseball's best highlights of the season."I just tried to go get it," Shuck said. "I don't know what really happened after that. I think that's the first one I've ever brought back."
With the offense producing, Weaver (5-5, 2.84 ERA) may have a good chance to get some rare support. His 2.64 run-support average in 14 outings would rank among the worst in the majors if he qualified.
Weaver gave up one run in seven innings and left with a 3-1 lead over Texas on Monday, but the bullpen allowed two homers in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 loss to overshadow another of his stellar outings."It's a little frustrating. This was probably one of the best (games) I've thrown in Texas," Weaver said. "No lead is safe."
Weaver had gone 20 1-3 innings without allowing a run before giving up an RBI single in the sixth, and he's 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA over his last seven starts.
The right-hander is 7-2 with a 3.70 ERA in nine starts versus the Blue Jays, but he hasn't faced them since giving up eight runs in 4 2-3 innings of an 11-2 road loss Aug. 13, 2011. Adam Lind hit a grand slam and Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run shot off Weaver in that contest.
Jose Reyes hit a two-run homer Friday for Toronto (50-59), which has lost six of its last eight road meetings with the Angels."We let the game get away, and if that continues to happen, we're going to go nowhere and we're going to be home in October," Reyes said. "It's tough to play the way we've been playing. It's not acceptable with the kind of team that we have. We're better than this."
Esmil Rogers opposes Weaver looking to bounce back from a rough outing.
Rogers (3-5, 4.36) is 2-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 11 starts this season, and he's been inconsistent of late. After allowing two runs in seven innings of Toronto's 8-3, 10-inning loss the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 24, he gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings of Monday's 9-4 loss to Oakland.
The right-hander, winless in his last seven starts, has never started versus the Angels. He did give up three runs in 2 2-3 innings over four relief appearances last season.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 02, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee strain|
|July 30, 2013||Dustin McGowan||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|July 27, 2013||Albert Pujols||15-Day DL||Plantar fasciitis|
|July 27, 2013||Albert Pujols||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis|
|June 30, 2013||Peter Bourjos||15-Day DL||Nondisplaced bone fracture, right wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist|
|June 23, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb injury|
|June 21, 2013||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Consistency and eating up innings has always been Jered Weaver 's focus.
The three-time All-Star pitched into the eighth inning to win his third straight decision, Kole Calhoun hit his second big league homer in as many days, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Saturday night.
Weaver was sidelined for more than seven weeks after breaking a bone in his non-pitching arm in his second start of the season. He already has as many losses as he had all of last season - when he became the Angels' first 20-game winner since Bartolo Colon in 2005 and pitched his first career no-hitter.
"My goals for the rest of the season are just as they were if I wouldn't have gotten hurt," Weaver said. "I'm just trying to go out there and win ballgames, try to get us as deep into the game as possible and throw up zeros. There's nothing I can do about the time I lost. You've just got to make up for lost time."
Weaver (6-5) allowed three runs, seven hits and two walks through 7 1-3 innings and struck out five, including the side in the fifth. His streak of consecutive scoreless innings at home was snapped at 26 1-3 when Brett Lawrie led off the third with his ninth home run, but the right-hander still improved to 8-2 lifetime against the Blue Jays.
"They've got a good lineup with some guys that can hurt you," Weaver said. "But I was able to minimize the damage for the most part, and the boys came out and scored three early. That took a little pressure off me."
Weaver had an opportunity to become the first pitcher in the Angels' 53-year history to make four consecutive home starts without giving up a run, but Lawrie ended that with only the second homer against Weaver in his last eight outings.
"I threw two sliders in a row to him, and both of them backed up," Weaver said. "He's a mistake hitter. I made a mistake to him and he hit it put it where it should have been."
Esmil Rogers (3-6) gave up seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits over five innings. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 6.60 ERA in his last eight starts after back-to-back wins against Texas and Colorado.
The Blue Jays, trying to avoid finishing last in the AL East for the first time since 2004, are a season-worst 16 games behind first-place Boston and 7 1/2 behind the fourth-place Yankees. Manager John Gibbons , who has used his bullpen more than any other team, has gotten only 11 innings combined from his starters through the first three games of this series.
"Starting pitching is the name of the game, and it's really hurt us this year," Gibbons said.
The Angels grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first. Mike Trout extended his consecutive on-base streak to 34 games with a single, and scored when Mark Trumbo barely beat the relay to first by shortstop Jose Reyes on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder to second baseman Maicer Izturis with the bases loaded. Erick Aybar and Chris Nelson followed with RBI singles.
Los Angeles extended the margin to 7-1 with a four-run fifth that began with a leadoff homer by Calhoun, who drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in Friday night's 7-5 win with an eighth-inning homer off All-Star reliever Steve Delabar .
"Last night was definitely a lot of fun, and tonight was just another good team win," Calhoun said. "The guy threw some tough pitches to me the first two times up, and you're going to come up empty a few times. That's going to happen. That's part of the game."
Rogers hit Trout on the left arm two pitches later before giving up a single by Josh Hamilton and a run-scoring single by Howie Kendrick . Center fielder Colby Rasmus made a wide throw to the plate trying to get Trout, and catcher J.P. Arencibia threw to second trying to nab Kendrick - but his throw sailed over Reyes and skipped between Rasmus and right fielder Jose Bautista , allowing Hamilton to score and Kendrick to circle the bases.
"We wanted to make Rogers throw strikes," Calhoun said. "We knew he can get a little wild sometimes, so we just took it easy and didn't try to do too much, just stay up the middle. After my at-bat in the first inning, everybody saw the ball pretty well and started a nice little rally, and that set the tone for the rest of the game."
NOTES: Weaver has not issued an intentional walk since Sept. 4, 2009, against Mark Teahen at Kansas City. Since then, he has faced 3,100 batters in 779 innings without giving up a free pass. ... Angels LHP Jason Vargas , who hasn't pitched since June 17 because of a blood clot under his armpit, threw 50 pitches in a three-inning simulated game and reported no discomfort. ... Weaver has 1,197 career strikeouts in 1,416 2-3 innings, and needs 18 punchouts to surpass the total his brother Jeff had in 1,838 innings in the big leagues. ... The Angels grounded into two double plays, increasing their total to a major league-worst 106.