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Jered Weaver impressive through seven, Angels hold off A's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jered Weaver has already pitched himself into the Los Angeles Angels' record books and impressed a lot of people.

Weaver went seven strong innings to remain perfect in six starts, leading the Angels to a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.

"He's a good pitcher," A's first baseman Nick Swisher said. "There's a reason he's back up here. He's got good control and has three pretty good pitches. In the seventh inning we were still stuck on one hit. We had to wake up sometime."

A day after John Lackey retired 27 straight after giving up a leadoff double, Weaver (6-0) was nearly as impressive. The rookie right-hander, who took his older brother Jeff's spot in the rotation and on the team June 30, retired 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.

"Everybody works off each other," Weaver said. "That's what makes our rotation pretty strong. It's pretty tough to match what he did last night so I'm just happy everything went the way it did."

Weaver, who allowed two hits, becomes the first Angels pitcher to win his first six major league starts. He walked two and struck out five and lowered his ERA to 1.12.

"I don't really look at it like a streak or anything," he said. "I just have to go out there and locate pitches. For the most part I've been doing that. I'm sure there's going to be some adjustments somewhere along the line but for now I'm going to pitch to my strengths."

Maicer Izturis had three hits, including his first home run in nearly a year, as the Angels crept within three games of the AL West-leading A's, the closest they've been since May 12. Chone Figgins had four hits, drove in a run and stole two bases.

"Guys have been swinging the bat all year," Figgins said. "What makes a good team good is the ability to overcome the struggles."

Juan Rivera also homered for the Angels, who have won seven of eight. Orlando Cabrera and Mike Napoli also drove in runs.

Joe Blanton (8-8) lost his first game to a division rival in six starts and fell to 0-4 against the Angels, his worst record versus any team. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out five.

"They hit some good pitches and I made some mistakes," Blanton said.

Brendan Donnelly started the eighth and gave up four singles, with Swisher driving in a run, before leaving with the bases loaded and two outs.

Francisco Rodriguez gave up a two-run single to Frank Thomas and a run-scoring single to Jay Payton in the eighth. He struck out Bobby Crosby with two runners on to end the inning and pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.

Tommy Murphy, a late addition to the lineup, also contributed with a pair of outstanding plays in center field. He made a sliding catch of Crosby's short fly and doubled off Thomas at first to end the second, and crashed into the wall in left-center one step after catching up to Bobby Kielty's deep fly to open the third.

Murphy replaced Garret Anderson, who was scratched with tightness in his left hamstring -- the same injury that kept him out of Friday night's game.

The A's were limited to two hits -- both by Kotsay -- over a 50-batter span the past two games until Jay Payton singled with two outs in the seventh.

Izturis' first home run since Aug. 27 -- and third of his career -- gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the third. With two outs, Figgins tripled and Izturis hit a 1-2 offering from Blanton into the left-field bleachers.

"I'm a player with very little strength considering the other guys here," Izturis said through an interpreter. "I just think contact. I hit the ball in front of me and the ball carried well."

Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly and Napoli doubled home a run to make it 4-0 in the fifth.

Figgins singled home a run in the sixth and Rivera hit his 11th homer, a solo shot off Chad Gaudin, in the seventh.

Notes

  • Thomas moved past Mickey Mantle into 43rd place with 1,511 RBI.
  • Figgins has 23 steals against the A's, his most against any team.
  • Angels 3B Dallas McPherson and 1B Casey Kotchman are within a week or two of beginning rehab assignments.
  • A's OF Milton Bradley went 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI in a rehab assignment with Sacramento of the PCL.
  • Rodriguez has 10 saves against the A's, his most against any team.
  • A's 3B Eric Chavez snapped an 0-for-25 streak with runners in scoring position with his eighth inning single.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jered Weaver retires 16 of the last 18 batters he faces, lowering his ERA to 1.12.  (AP)
Jered Weaver retires 16 of the last 18 batters he faces, lowering his ERA to 1.12. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

F. Thomas
AB 2
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Anaheim

J. Weaver
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, LF5241000 .265
Maicer Izturis, 3B4232100 .262
Orlando Cabrera, SS2001214 .292
Vladimir Guerrero, DH5000015 .299
Mike Napoli, C5021020 .286
Juan Rivera, RF5111012 .277
Kendry Morales, 1B4000131 .244
Tommy Murphy, CF4010011 .250
Adam Kennedy, 2B4110012 .259
Totals38612641015 
Batting
2B - Mike Napoli (8, Blanton)
3B - Chone Figgins (4, Blanton), Adam Kennedy (3, Blanton)
HR - Maicer Izturis (1, Blanton), Juan Rivera (11, Gaudin)
SF - Orlando Cabrera (4)
RBI - Chone Figgins (32), Maicer Izturis 2 (12), Orlando Cabrera (47), Mike Napoli (27), Juan Rivera (36)
2-OUT RBI - Chone Figgins (9), Maicer Izturis 2 (7), Mike Napoli (12), Juan Rivera (14)
SB - Chone Figgins 2 (31, 2nd base off Blanton/Melhuse, 3rd base off Gaudin/Melhuse), Maicer Izturis (6, 2nd base off Gaudin/Melhuse)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Tommy Murphy 1
DP - Murphy-Morales
Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver (W,6-0) 7200250 1.12
Brendan Donnelly 0.2444000 4.32
Francisco Rodriguez (S,20) 1.1300010 2.97
Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 95-55, Brendan Donnelly 22-16, Francisco Rodriguez 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 5-10, Brendan Donnelly 1-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-2
Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 24, Brendan Donnelly 6, Francisco Rodriguez 7
Oakland Athletics
Mark Kotsay, CF5110002 .242
Nick Swisher, 1B4111011 .261
Eric Chavez, 3B4110011 .243
Frank Thomas, DH2012210 .237
    Antonio Perez, PR-DH0000000 .091
Jay Payton, RF4021013 .283
Bobby Crosby, SS4000014 .241
Bobby Kielty, LF4110010 .300
Adam Melhuse, C4010000 .237
Mark Ellis, 2B4010002 .223
Totals354942613 
Batting
2B - Mark Ellis (9, Rodriguez)
RBI - Nick Swisher (52), Frank Thomas 2 (46), Jay Payton (32)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Swisher (29), Frank Thomas 2 (24), Jay Payton (12)
SB - Jay Payton (3, 2nd base off Jer. Weaver/Napoli)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
PB - Adam Melhuse (2)
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (L,8-8) 5.2955351 4.95
Chad Gaudin 1.1111111 3.97
Brad Halsey 1200010 3.97
Kiko Calero 1000030 3.31
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 109-63, Chad Gaudin 25-14, Brad Halsey 22-15, Kiko Calero 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 9-3
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 29, Chad Gaudin 6, Brad Halsey 5, Kiko Calero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25289
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Brian Gorman