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L.A. Angels (28-28) «0100210015121
Kansas City (22-33)000000022471

Weaver outduels Greinke as Angels edge Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Reaching .500 isn't a mark an organization like the Los Angeles Angels often strives for.

After the start they had to the season, it's a nice step that they hope will keep going in the right direction.

Jered Weaver outpitched Zack Greinke in seven scoreless innings and Torii Hunter homered for the second straight game, helping the Los Angeles Angels reach .500 for the first time in over a month with a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

"It's like your report card," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've been kind of swimming upstream for a while, working very, very hard. It's certainly not where we want to end up -- we think we're a better team than .500 -- but we're going to keep playing hard and that record will let you know how you're doing like a report card."

Weaver (5-2) did his part, pitching well for the fourth straight start and getting a win out of it, his first since May 7. The offense helped him for once, knocking around Greinke (1-7) and finishing with 12 hits -- the big blow Hunter's two-run homer in the fifth -- after getting 14 the night before.

The bullpen, well, it had some issues.

The Royals scored two runs off Kevin Jepsen in the eighth inning and pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist hit a two-run homer off Brian Fuentes in the ninth to cut the lead to 5-4. Fuentes managed to close it out after that, getting his seventh save in 10 chances.

Still, the combined effort gave the Angels (28-28) their seventh win in nine games, moving them to .500 for the first time since April 30.

For a team that started the season 3-7, it was a nice milestone, but one they want to get past.

"Our record, the standings, that's not our challenge right now," Scioscia said. "We need to keep this continuity and keep moving forward. We played well today and we held on."

The marquee for this game billed two aces looking for a win.

Weaver opened the season 4-1, but hadn't won in five previous starts despite allowing more than two earned runs once.

Bad as it's been, Greinke's probably envious.

A year after a Zack-tastical run to the AL Cy Young Award, the spotlight-avoiding right-hander has idled in traffic behind low run support.

It's not that the Royals can't hit; they entered Thursday's game second in the majors at .277.

But for Greinke, they've been stinky.

Kansas City averages 2.87 runs per game behind him, third-fewest in the AL, and he's allowed two earned runs or fewer seven times without a win, the hardest to take a 1-0 loss to Boston his previous start.

Greinke again didn't get much help, but wasn't particularly sharp, either.

Erick Aybar doubled on his first pitch -- he was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple -- and Michael Ryan led off the second with another double, scoring on Kevin Frandsen's run-scoring single.

Hunter made it 3-0 in the fifth with his homer into the fountains in left-center and another run scored in the sixth when catcher Jason Kendall failed to tag Reggie Willits at home after third baseman Alberto Callaspo stepped on the base and threw home with one out and the bases loaded.

Greinke allowed four runs on 10 hits in six innings after giving up seven in 3 1/3 his last home start.

"The last month I haven't really been myself, I guess," said Greinke, the first AL pitcher to seven losses. "Everything looks tougher, like the hitters look better and the strike zone looks smaller. It just seems tougher out there at the moment."

Weaver had the Royals flailing most of the day, scattering four hits and striking out nine. He was tested just once, escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth inning with a strikeout and a nifty backhanded snare by Frandsen at third.

"Going against Greinke, I knew it was going to be a close battle and it was there, for the most part," said Weaver, who's allowed four earned runs his last four starts. "Torii got that big homer to take off a little pressure and our guys were able to get to a great pitcher."

Weaver's day was uneventful, but plate umpire Mike Estabrook's sure wasn't.

He got into a shouting match with Scioscia after a foul ball by Podsednik in the first inning and ejected Royals manager Ned Yost in the third. Scioscia thought Podsednik had fouled a bunt attempt on strike two and Yost got tossed for getting in Estabrook's face after the umpire bent down to say something to Kendall following a close two-strike pitch on Hunter.

"He came out in front, which I really haven't seen," Kendall said. "I told him he better get out of my face. It was unprofessional what he did and Ned came out and took care of it."

Notes
  • Los Angeles has 11 homers in six games.
  • Billy Butler , Kansas City's leading hitter, went 1 for 15 in the series after going hitless in four at-bats Thursday.
 
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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In a battle of aces, Jered Weaver throws seven strong innings to get the better of Zack Greinke. (AP)
In a battle of aces, Jered Weaver throws seven strong innings to get the better of Zack Greinke. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

W. Bloomquist
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Anaheim

J. Weaver
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 9
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS3120211 .244
Howard Kendrick, 2B5001012 .256
Bobby Abreu, RF5010022 .277
Torii Hunter, CF4222121 .283
Hideki Matsui, DH3030200 .253
Mike Napoli, C4001017 .254
Michael Ryan, 1B3110010 .192
    Robb Quinlan, 1B2000012 .000
Kevin Frandsen, 3B4121000 .448
Reggie Willits, LF4010021 .256
Totals375125511  
Batting
2B - Erick Aybar (12, Greinke), Torii Hunter (16, Wood), Michael Ryan (3, Greinke), Reggie Willits (2, Greinke)
HR - Torii Hunter (9, Greinke)
SF - Mike Napoli (1)
RBI - Howard Kendrick (31), Torii Hunter 2 (34), Mike Napoli (22), Kevin Frandsen (2)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter 2 (9)
SB - Erick Aybar 2 (9, 2nd base off Greinke/Kendall, 3rd base off Greinke/Kendall), Howard Kendrick (6, 2nd base off Greinke/Kendall)
CS - Reggie Willits (1, 2nd base by Greinke/Kendall)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Frandsen-Kendrick-Quinlan
E - Erick Aybar (8, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver (W,5-2) 7400190 2.74
Kevin Jepsen 0.1222100 6.16
Fernando Rodney (H,6) 0.2000000 2.95
Brian Fuentes (S,7) 1122221 5.93
WP - Kevin Jepsen (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 111-71, Kevin Jepsen 17-10, Fernando Rodney 1-1, Brian Fuentes 29-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 6-6, Kevin Jepsen 1-0, Fernando Rodney 1-0
Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 26, Kevin Jepsen 4, Fernando Rodney 1, Brian Fuentes 6
Kansas City Royals
Scott Podsednik, LF5120033 .294
Jason Kendall, C3001102 .282
David DeJesus, RF4021002 .304
Billy Butler, 1B4000012 .329
Jose Guillen, DH3100130 .244
Alberto Callaspo, 3B4000011 .287
Mitch Maier, CF3000020 .252
   a- Willie Bloomquist, PH1112000 .200
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4010000 .281
Chris Getz, 2B2110110 .216
   b- Mike Aviles, PH0000100 .305
Totals33474411  
a-homered for Maier in the 9th
b-walked for Getz in the 9th
Batting
2B - Yuniesky Betancourt (11, Jer. Weaver)
HR - Willie Bloomquist (2, Fuentes)
RBI - Jason Kendall (12), David DeJesus (23), Willie Bloomquist 2 (8)
SB - Scott Podsednik (17, 2nd base off Jer. Weaver/Napoli)
PK - Yuniesky Betancourt (1, Jer. Weaver)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - David DeJesus 1
DP - Kendall-Betancourt
E - Chris Getz (2, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke (L,1-7) 61044361 3.60
Kyle Farnsworth 1000120 2.42
Robinson Tejeda 1000120 4.23
Blake Wood 1211010 1.54
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 116-72, Kyle Farnsworth 23-13, Robinson Tejeda 18-9, Blake Wood 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 4-7
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 30, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Robinson Tejeda 4, Blake Wood 5
Game Information
Attendance - 13621
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt