Royals prove rude hosts to Halos
Angels' Weaver struggles with command in short outing
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals weren't very friendly to a tall, blond Southern California tourist on Wednesday night.
They jumped on Jered Weaver early and didn't let up, pounding out a 9-4 victory at Kauffman Stadium behind Zack Greinke to salvage the finale of a three-game series with the Angels.
"Command," Weaver said, getting straight to the root of his problem. "I was just leaving balls up. Everything was up. No excuses. I just didn't get the job done."
Mike Napoli and Garret Anderson did their part to stir the Angels' offense, each hitting a home run. Napoli also singled twice, while Anderson had a triple, giving him six hits and eight RBIs in the series.
Napoli owns the highest homer ratio in the Major Leagues with eight in 61 at-bats.
Homering for the third straight game for the fourth time in his career and first time since 2003, Anderson showed signs he's ready to generate power and production in the heart of the order after a slow start.
Asked if he's back in the kind of groove that produced 65 RBIs in the second half of 2007, Anderson was noncommittal.
"I don't know yet," he said. "I need to see some lefty starters. I still have some more work to do in that area."
He'll face a high-caliber southpaw, the Rays' Scott Kazmir, in the middle game of a weekend series in Tampa Bay.
Napoli's tremendous two-run homer to left field -- conservatively estimated at 422 feet -- was about all the Angels could feel good about at the hands of Greinke. The brilliant young right-hander produced eight strikeouts with his 97-mph heater, crackling slider and soft curve.
"His control is the key, not the speed," said Anderson, who was stranded after tripling to right leading off the fourth. "He's got good offspeed stuff, and he's putting it in good locations."
Greinke went seven innings, allowing three earned runs, to run his record to 4-1. His ERA is 1.80.
In his most frustrating performance of the season, Weaver (2-5) lasted only 3 1/3 innings. It was his briefest outing since April 23, 2007, when he went 1 2/3 innings against the Tigers.
He yielded eight earned runs on 10 hits, including a three-run homer by David DeJesus that capped a four-run second inning and a two-run blast by Alex Gordon on his final pitch in the fourth.
"Today, we stayed with our plan," DeJesus said. "Weaver likes to pick at the corners and throw that changeup, so we were making him get it up over the plate so we could drive it.
"He started missing those corners, where he had to throw it over the plate, and once one guy started hitting, it seemed like everybody started hitting."
Busting out of a slump, Royals left fielder Jose Guillen had two doubles and a single against his former team.
"Everything felt good mechanically," said Weaver, whose ERA shot up to 5.59. "My arm felt good. It's just one of those days. It's been one of those years so far."
The club's Opening Day starter after a superlative spring, Weaver has won only two of his eight starts. It hasn't helped that the offense has sputtered behind him, averaging 3.7 runs per start.
"I set the bar too high, I guess," Weaver said. "Everyone wants you to go 6-0, 9-0 [as he did in his 2006 rookie year]. ... I said I'm going to pitch my game. People start figuring me out, [and] I've got to change my approach [and] go from there.
"I can't explain it. We'll figure it out the next four days."
The Angels scored first on Vladimir Guerrero's RBI single in the first inning, but Billy Butler matched it with an RBI double in the bottom half.
The Royals put together five hits in the second inning for their four runs, scored a single run in the third after Guillen's second double and chased Weaver on Gordon's two-run homer in the fourth. Chris Bootcheck yielded a run in 2 2/3 innings, and Darren O'Day shut down the Royals on one hit in the seventh and eighth.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia feels it's a matter of command with Weaver, the all-encompassing definition of taking control of the strike zone and a game.
"A couple of breaking balls just rolled into the zone," Scioscia said. "I thought there was life on the fastball. It gets back to command. He's working hard and understands what piece to the puzzle he's going to bring.
"Right now, he's not as crisp as in the past. He's not as consistent as he needs to be, but he'll find it."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.