Angels 4, Athletics 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)
Jered Weaver shrugged off his career-best 17th win 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 win over 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. The Rangers were scheduled to host Cleveland at night.
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 may 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 straight win 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 in Tuesday's 6-3 win, 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 RBIs. Tim Salmon had 31 home runs and 95 RBIs 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.''
NOTES: A's CF Ryan Sweeney strained his quadriceps while running out a grounder in the sixth. ... Coco Crisp (foot) hit in the cage and might return to Oakland's lineup Thursday. ... Angels RHP Dan Haren, who tossed a shutout in his last start, pitches in the series opener Friday night against Baltimore. Haren (15-8) can match his career high for wins by beating the Orioles. ... Brandon McCarthy, who starts Thursday for Oakland against Detroit, is holding opponents to a .196 batting average over his past four outings.