Angels Weave together a finale victory
Starter tosses seven shutout frames; Kendrick drives in four
ANAHEIM -- While there's been much talk about the Angels' problems with their patched-up starting rotation, right-hander Jered Weaver has quietly developed into an ace for the club so far this season.The former first-round Draft pick has averaged more than six innings per outing and carries a 2.45 ERA through four starts along with a staff-high 21 strikeouts. Weaver was at it again Sunday when he tossed seven innings against the Mariners in the Angels' 8-0 win in front of 43,057 at Angel Stadium. "I think the tone was set by Weav," Angels manager Scioscia said. "He threw up some zeros and put up a picket fence before we got some runs in the eighth to blow it up. So it was nice to see, and he's been pitching well this year." Weaver allowed just three hits and two walks while also striking out five batters. It was the best performance by an Angels starter this season, yet when asked about his effort, Weaver deferred the credit to catcher Jeff Mathis. "It was one of those games where we were on the same page," Weaver said of his catcher. "I would already have the grip of what I wanted to throw, and he was already throwing down that sign. I felt like we really worked well together. When you have something like that going, it's pretty comfortable." It ended up being a comfortable victory for the Angels because the offense came alive and was backed by second baseman Howard Kendrick, who had a career-high four RBIs. The Angels' offense knocked around Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn, who entered the game with a 1.71 ERA. The former Angel allowed six runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings. "I think we were on his game plan today," Kendrick said. "He likes to throw a lot of cutters and fastballs in and then throw his changeup. But today we got after him early in the count and it worked out for us." It especially worked out for Kendrick, who hit a two-run home run in the second, an RBI single in the fifth and another run-scoring single in the eighth. His second inning home run off Washburn came on a first-pitch sinker and gave the Angels an early 2-0 lead. "The home run to him was a sinker that ran a little but had no sink to it at all," Washburn said. "I basically put it on a tee for him and he made me pay." The Angels, who rested regulars such as Chone Figgins, Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli, still found a way to put runs on the board with several backups in the game. Left fielder Juan Rivera homered for the Angels, hitting a solo blast off Washburn in the fourth inning. And designated hitter Bobby Abreu narrowly missed his first home run of the season when he hit a high fly ball to right field that went off the top of the fence for a two-run double in the third inning. Right fielder Gary Matthews Jr. knocked in a run with an RBI single in the sixth inning. The Angels tallied two insurance runs in the eighth on an RBI single by Torii Hunter and Kendrick's final single. "We're getting contributions from a lot of guys," Scioscia said. "We gave some guys some rest, and the guys that got in there played really well. I think we can create some nice chemistry and mix and match to put up a good lineup out there every day." The Angels' offense has been hot recently, as the club has averaged seven runs and 12 hits over its past six games. "We've been swinging the bats well all year," Kendrick said. "We've been scoring a lot of runs all year. So now we just have to click as a team. We just need to get all our things together and get our defense right. It's still early, so we have a lot of time, and I think we're going to win ball games."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.