Angels’ Weaver wins pitching duel
Jered Weaver and John Lackey hooked up in a pitching duel that pitted former teammates against one another. There was no animosity, with Weaver crediting Lackey for helping him develop and Lackey playing the part of proud big brother.
Weaver got the best of Lackey on Sunday night, combining with three relievers on a five-hitter as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Boston Red Sox 3-0 for their 10th win in 12 games.
”He got me the first time we matched up and it was nice to be able to even it up,” Weaver said. ”He did a lot of great things for the Angels and for me. He kind of took me under his wing and taught me a lot of things.”
Weaver (3-4) allowed five hits, struck out six and walked two in 6 2-3 innings.
”That’s my boy,” Lackey said. ”He’s become a great pitcher in the league and he’s fun to watch. He was pretty good when he got here. I mean, he started off like 9-0 or something (as a rookie). We discussed more things off the field, preparation-wise, than pitching stuff. He had that down pretty good from the start.”
Lackey (6-6) entered the game on a roll, with a 3-0 record and a 2.17 ERA over his previous four starts. He struck out nine in seven innings and was charged with two runs and five hits.
”I don’t know if I’ve ever seen John Lackey have better stuff,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”Those two guys went pitch-for-pitch. It’s the best stuff Jered’s had all season.”
Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth to earn his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Weaver gave up back-to-back hits to Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava to open the game, and then got out of the jam by retiring Dustin Pedroia on a liner to third base, and striking out David Ortiz and former Angel Mike Napoli.
”Stuff like that’s going to happen,” Weaver said. ”You just got to limit the damage.”
It was Weaver’s first outing since becoming a father on Friday, when he named his first child Aden David Weaver in honor of his late teammate and friend Nick Adenhart.
”In the back of my mind I was anxious to get back over to the hospital,” he said. ”It’ll be fun to pick him up and cuddle with him.”
Weaver and his wife, Kristin, will take the baby home on Monday, an off day for the Angels before they open an interleague series in Chicago against the Cubs on Tuesday.
Weaver joked that young Aden would get the game ball, saying, ”He deserves this one. He’s been gripping pretty hard with his left hand.”
As he always does, Weaver scrawled the initials `NA’ into the mound before his first pitch of each inning.
”It means a lot to us to be able to keep Nick’s memory alive,” he said. ”We’re always thinking about him.”
Mike Trout, who will start for the AL in next week’s All-Star game in New York, put the Angels ahead 1-0 in the first with his 15th homer.
Hank Conger made it 2-0 with two outs in the fifth, with his drive landing in the same right field area as Trout’s shot.
”The second one, I’d like to have that pitch back for sure,” Lackey said. ”But the first one was a great player doing great things. It was about 96 and away. A pretty good hitter made a pretty good swing.”
Albert Pujols singled with two outs in the sixth and the Red Sox shifted their infield for Josh Hamilton, leaving third base open, which allowed Pujols to take third as Hamilton walked. But Howie Kendrick grounded out to end the threat.
The Red Sox had runners on first and second in the seventh, with Weaver yielding singles to Napoli and Brock Holt before turning it over to Dane De La Rosa, who got Jose Iglesias to fly out to right to end the inning.
The Angels added a run on Mark Trumbo’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.
NOTES: Lackey and Weaver faced off previously on July 27, 2010, in Anaheim, with Lackey earning the win. … Red Sox OF Shane Victorino wasn’t in the lineup a day after leaving the game with a left hamstring injury, the same thing that landed him on the DL last month. … Red Sox LHP Andrew Miller returned to Boston on Sunday with a walking boot on his left foot. He was to be examined further on Monday.