Weaver baffles M's as Angels roll

BY foxsports • April 27, 2009

Jarrod Washburn has left Angel Stadium on the losing end of a decision more times than not over the past 12 seasons. It wasn't even close this time, thanks to Jered Weaver and Howie Kendrick.

Kendrick homered and had a career-high four RBIs, Weaver combined with two relievers on a five-hitter, and Los Angeles handed the former Angels left-hander his first loss of the season Sunday with an 8-0 rout of the Seattle Mariners.

Weaver (2-1) allowed three hits over seven innings to help the two-time defending AL West champions avoid a three-game sweep by the current division leaders. The Mariners failed to get an extra-base hit against the right-hander, who gave up two home runs in each of his previous two starts.

Washburn has received fewer than three runs of support in 59 of 122 starts since the beginning of the 2005 season. This was the 14th time he's had none during that stretch.

"I have to give a lot of credit to Jeff," Weaver said of batterymate Jeff Mathis. "He called a great game today and I was able to put up a bunch of zeros. It was one of those games where we were on the same page. It's a pretty comfortable feeling out there when you're together like that."

Perhaps Weaver's biggest out was in the first inning when Russell Branyan, who homered in each of the previous two games, chased a high 3-2 pitch to strand runners at first and second.

"We had an opportunity in the first inning to get to Weaver and make a dent in this game, but stranding the two runners early hurt us momentum-wise," manager Don Wakamatsu said.

"He calmed down a little bit after that. You could just see it in his face. I've seen this kid pitch over the last couple of years. And if you give him any kind of breathing room, he comes back real strong."

Washburn (3-1), who was off to his best start since starting his big league career 4-0 with the Angels in 1998, was charged with six runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings. He is 30-37 with a 4.60 ERA in 99 career appearances at Angel Stadium, and 2-4 with a 4.43 ERA in seven starts at the "Big A" leaving the Halos to sign with Seattle as a free agent.

"My stuff was pretty good. I just didn't have command of it," Washburn said. "I missed my spots quite a few times and fell behind on a few hitters, but I know exactly what I was doing wrong and I'm still very confident in my stuff. It's just a matter of having the command that I had the first three times out, and getting more consistent in my delivery."

Washburn did not strike out a batter, after fanning 17 in 21 innings through his first three outings.

"Those strikeouts were a fluke," said the 34-year-old pitcher, who had a career high 10 Ks on June 22, 2002, against Milwaukee. "I had nine in the last game, and I think six of them were against the lefties in that lineup, so that's nothing. I'm not a strikeout guy. I'm a pitch-to-contact guy. Today the contact was more solid than I would have liked, and that's just because I was up in the zone and missing in the middle of the plate."

Kendrick had a pair of RBI singles in addition to his two-run homer in the second. He hit fifth in the batting order for the first time since Aug. 3, 2008, at New York. It was his fourth different spot since manager Mike Scioscia took him out of the two hole last Wednesday.

Juan Rivera hit his first home run of the season. Torii Hunter had three hits, including an RBI single, and raised his average to .338.

Kendrick, who came in 2-for-21 lifetime against Washburn, gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a first-pitch homer to left-center after a leadoff single by Hunter. It was the first home run since opening day for Kendrick, who hiked his average from .230 to .258.

"I think we were on Washburn's game plan today," Kendrick said. "He likes to throw a lot of cutters in on you early in the count, and we were prepared for that."


Washburn absorbed his 100th loss in the majors as a starter, 11 days after he beat the Angels 11-3 at Seattle for his 100th big league victory as a starter. He is 101-101 overall. ... The Angels are 7-11 with three games left in April - assuring them of their first losing month since June 2006 (12-14) and ending a streak of 15 consecutive months with a winning record. They have yet to win consecutive games this season.

share story