|L.A. Angels (82-67) «||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||4||8||0|
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jered Weaver shrugged off his career-best 17th victory of the season as if it were his first.
With his team locked in a tight race with AL West-leading Texas, the Los Angeles Angels ace will have plenty of time to relish his achievements in the offseason. Weaver may also have to come back on three days' rest for his next start, so any individual celebration will have to wait.
"We haven't gotten to our goal yet, but from a personal standpoint, it's pretty cool," Weaver said after pitching seven innings in a 4-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. "It's not over yet. We still have a lot of goals to accomplish as a team, which is more important. Hopefully we keep winning some ballgames."
Los Angeles will have to do just that to maintain its playoff hopes.
The Angels began the day three games behind Texas with two weeks remaining.
|More on Angels at A's|
That's one of the reasons manager Mike Scioscia is considering juggling his rotation to get Weaver (17-7) back on the mound, possibly as soon as Sunday in Baltimore.
"I'm good with it," Weaver said. "We've got a tight one going on right now and anything we can do to help the club win some ballgames, I'm all for it. I feel great."
Josh Willingham matched his career high of 26 home runs with a solo shot off Weaver in the third but the A's managed only two baserunners over the final six innings.
Oakland, which has been held to one run or fewer 30 times this season, committed two errors to add to its AL-leading total of 119.
"That's been the biggest weakness in the club this year," manager Bob Melvin said. "In theory, next spring, that will be the No. 1 priority."
Oakland might also want to work on its hitting after putting only two runners on base over the final six innings.
Weaver allowed six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He pitched out of a bases-loaded situation in the first and escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the second to beat the A's for the third time in four starts this season.
That lowered the lanky right-hander's ERA to 2.40, second in the AL behind Detroit ace Justin Verlander (2.36). Weaver also improved to 13-0 this year when going at least seven innings.
That's been big for the Angels, who are 21-10 in games Weaver starts and 61-57 otherwise.
"It was a rocky start for Weave," Scioscia said. "It looked like he was struggling to get his pitches into good zones. He loosened up as the game went on. It was a day where he didn't have his best stuff but pitched with it."
It also marked Los Angeles' second successive victory in Oakland after losing 10 of its previous 12 at the Coliseum.
The A's, who still lead the season series 9-7, had Weaver in trouble early but couldn't deliver with runners on base.
Willingham drove in the A's only run when he hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left-center. That tied his career high set in 2006 with Florida.
Oakland's defense made several nice plays to help preserve the 1-0 lead until Los Angeles broke through in the sixth.
Howie Kendrick, who hit a pair of two-run homers Tuesday in a 6-3 victory, drew a leadoff walk and scored from first on Abreu's double to right-center. Two batters later, Trumbo hit his 26th home run of the season to make it 3-1.
Rich Harden (4-3) didn't make it out of the sixth, allowing three runs and seven hits. Since throwing seven scoreless innings against Toronto on Aug. 19, the Oakland right-hander is winless in four starts and has a 6.97 ERA during that span.
Trumbo also hit a hard single off the wall in the eighth. He needs three home runs over the final 13 games to become the second rookie in Angels history to have at least 30 home runs and 80 RBI. Tim Salmon had 31 home runs and 95 RBI in 1993.
"He's going to have to get a lot of Rookie of the Year consideration just because of the numbers," Scioscia said. "And if we reach our goal, there's no doubt he has to get some MVP consideration. If you take him out of our lineup this year, we're not even talking about a pennant race."
|Mark Trumbo continues to enhance his candidacy for AL Rookie of the Year with a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.291|
|Bobby Abreu, DH||3||2||2||1||1||0||0||.254|
|Torii Hunter, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.259|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.256|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.280|
|Vernon Wells, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.218|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.271|
|Jeff Mathis, C||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.183|
|2B - Bobby Abreu (29, Harden)|
|HR - Mark Trumbo (27, Harden)|
|RBI - Bobby Abreu (54), Mark Trumbo 2 (82)|
|SB - Mark Trumbo (9, 2nd base off Carignan/Suzuki)|
|PK - Peter Bourjos (1, Harden)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Jered Weaver (W,17-7)||7||6||1||1||2||1||1||2.40|
|Scott Downs (H,24)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.29|
|Jordan Walden (S,31)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||2.41|
|HBP - Willingham (by Jered Weaver)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 115-74, Scott Downs 13-7, Jordan Walden 23-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 4-16, Scott Downs 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 30, Scott Downs 3, Jordan Walden 4|
|Cliff Pennington, SS||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.268|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.242|
|Hideki Matsui, DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.261|
|Josh Willingham, LF||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.255|
|David DeJesus, RF||3||0||2||0||1||0||0||.232|
|Scott Sizemore, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.237|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.265|
|Jai Miller, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Brandon Allen, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.218|
|Eric Sogard, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.208|
|a- Jemile Weeks, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.301|
|a-struck out for Sogard in the 9th|
|2B - Brandon Allen (9, Walden)|
|HR - Josh Willingham (26, Jer. Weaver)|
|SH - Kurt Suzuki (3)|
|RBI - Josh Willingham (91)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Sogard-Pennington-Allen|
|E - Scott Sizemore (16, Misplayed grounder), Eric Sogard (2, Missed catch of throw)|
|Rich Harden (L,4-3)||5.1||7||3||3||1||1||1||4.76|
|Fautino De Los Santos||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.11|
|HBP - Bourjos (by Rich Harden), Aybar (by Jerry Blevins)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 88-56, Fautino De Los Santos 8-4, Craig Breslow 15-8, Andrew Carignan 24-15, Jerry Blevins 17-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 8-5, Craig Breslow 1-1, Andrew Carignan 2-1, Jerry Blevins 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Rich Harden 23, Fautino De Los Santos 2, Craig Breslow 3, Andrew Carignan 6, Jerry Blevins 4|
|Attendance - 14743|
|Game Time - 2:46|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom|