ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jered Weaver has never been shy of showing his emotions on the mound. Wednesday afternoon presented yet another opportunity to do so.
The Angels ace was facing his most crucial situation of the afternoon. With the Angels clinging to a one-run lead, Long Beach native Aaron Hicks stood on second base representing the tying run for the Twins.
He would be stuck there after Weaver struck out Pedro Florimon looking to end the inning. Weaver flexed his arms back and let out a huge roar towards the home dugout. It was a pivotal moment in leading the Angels to a 1-0 win and snapping their three-game losing streak.
It was the pure, raw emotion Angels fans have been accustomed to seeing from Weaver and there was plenty to be emotional about. The strikeout was Weaver’s ninth of the ballgame, establishing a new season high.
The eight-inning outing was also his longest outing of the season as he improved to 5-5 on the year.
“I was thinking ‘(Heck) yeah!'” Weaver said as he described his emotions walking off of the mound to end the top of the eighth. “Every once in a while I show a little emotion out there and was just kind of pumped up.
“It was pretty exciting.”
The first inning showed very little indication that Weaver would be able to go deep into the game. He only gave up one hit in the inning but it took 23 pitches to record the first three outs.
In the bottom of the first, the Angels scored the game’s only run on an RBI single by Albert Pujols to drive in J.B. Shuck.
When Weaver returned to the mound, he retired the next 17 in a row.
Weaver admitted to pitching coach Mike Butcher during an eighth inning mound visit that he was a little gassed and after a 114-pitch outing through eight innings gave way to closer Ernesto Frieri.
The ninth inning for the Angels closer was, in a word, eventful. Just hours after allowing five runs in the 10th inning to the Twins, Frieri was back on the mound.
He issued a leadoff walk and hit the second batter he faced, Doug Bernier, with two strikes to give the Twins runners on first and second with no outs.
The third batter was Justin Morneau, who hit a short pop up just in front of the mound. Frieri elected to let it drop to start your everyday 1-3-6-3 double play.
The Angels closer then issued his second walk of the inning to Ryan Doumit to bring Tuesday night’s hero Chris Herrmann to the plate with runners on the corners.
After going up 0-2 on Herrmann, just before the next pitch, a fan ran onto the field momentarily stopping play.
Unlike Tuesday night, Frieri won the battle, striking out Hermann on the next pitch to end the game. His 25th save of the season was one of the most unconventional he’s had but at the end of the day, it adds one to the win column.
“I’d take it,” Frieri said of his wild outing. “If we’re going to win, I’ll take it.”