Angels 4, Tigers 2
Jered Weaver had full command of his dominating fastball. Torii
Hunter’s big throw was a wild heave from the dugout.
Weaver allowed three hits over seven innings to best Justin
Verlander, Hunter hit a two-run homer then tossed a bag of
baseballs onto the field after being ejected, and the Los Angeles
Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 on Friday night.
Hunter, after hitting a tape-measure two-run homer in the first,
was tossed by home plate umpire Ron Kulpa in the top of the eighth
after being called out on strikes. Hunter said things had been
escalating on pitches he and Kulpa didn’t agree on all game.
”It was a build up all day. Some things that were said by
him,” Hunter said.
Hunter made a comment about strike one and commented again after
the third strike. That’s when he was run.
”Obviously, Torii didn’t like strike one and we had a talk
about strike one and then he didn’t like strike three and we had a
conversation about strike three,” Kulpa said. ”And he said some
things that crossed the line and he got ejected.”
There has been lingering bad feelings between Hunter and Kulpa.
Hunter said Kulpa ejected him from games twice before.
When he was ejected, Hunter thought, ”’This guy has something
out for me.”’
Kulpa said it was nothing personal with Hunter.
”It’s just the nature of the game. Sometimes guys disagree with
us and those things happen in baseball,” he said. ”I’ve known
Torii for a long time and it’s just part of the game.”
Kulpa also said that Hunter hit him above his left eye with the
bill of Hunter’s helmet after the ejection.
”If I did, I didn’t feel it,” Hunter said. ”I looked down and
said ‘it (the ball) was low!’ and I looked back up and he was
holding his face. … I thought he was being a drama queen. I
wasn’t even thinking about bumping him.”
Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia was also ejected when he tried to
get between Hunter and Kulpa after the ejection.
Hunter went to the Angels dugout and heaved a bag of balls on to
the field shortly thereafter.
”I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry,” Hunter said about throwing the
ball bag. ”But that was something I had to do.”
Scioscia was then ejected.
”I guess Torii was upset the way the conversation went,”
Scioscia said of Hunter. ”Torii always plays with emotion.”
Brennan Boesch hit a home run for Detroit, which is 5-18 since
the All-Star break.
”We had a few chances, but we didn’t do much. We got four
hits,” Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland said. ”Verlander started off
shaky, made some real bad pitches early, then settled down pretty
good. But it was just lack of offense.”
Weaver (11-7) allowed one earned run and fanned nine to run his
AL-leading total to 171.
”The guys made some great defensive plays for me when I needed
it,” he said.
Former Tiger Fernando Rodney pitched the eighth and Brian
Fuentes the ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances.
Weaver worked out of a two on, none out jam in the second after
he walked leadoff man Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta singled.
Weaver struck out Johnny Damon swinging, got Brandon Inge to pop
out and induced Alex Avila to hit a checked-swing grounder.
Weaver also walked Cabrera to lead off the fourth, when the
Tigers got their second run.
Verlander (12-7) gave up four runs on seven hits, walking two
and striking out two.
Hunter’s two-run homer in the first gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead.
With one out, he drove Verlander’s 0-2 pitch off the flag pole well
beyond the left-center field fence for his 18th home run. It was
estimated at 435 feet.
Hunter said he strongly disagreed with Kulpa’s call on the first
pitch in that at bat.
The Angels made it 4-0 with two more in the second on Howie
Kendrick’s RBI double and Peter Bourjos’ run-scoring grounder.
Boesch’s two-out, solo home run in the third put Detroit on the
scoreboard. His towering drive down the right-field line deep into
the stands was Boesch’s 13th homer and first since June 27. It was
estimated at 407 feet.
”That was a bad pitch. He put it where it should’ve been,”
Weaver said. ”It was a hanging curveball.”
The Tigers pulled to 4-2 on second baseman Macir Izturis’
throwing error as he attempted to complete a double play on Damon’s
grounder in the fourth. Izturis’ throw to first was wild, allowing
Cabrera to score from second.
NOTES: Damon’s foul line drive into the Tigers dugout in the
fourth hit C Avila, who was standing on the steps, and knocked him
down. Avila wasn’t injured. … Tigers’ owner Mike Ilitch said that
he would be bringing back both GM Dave Dombrowski and Leyland back
for next season at a Detroit Red Wings’ press conference, to
announce the signing of Mike Modano . … Detroit promoted David
Chadd to vice president amateur scouting/special assistant to the
general manager, Scott Pleis to director amateur scouting and Mike
Rojas to director player development.