ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jered Weaver gave the Angels the start they desperately needed in a 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Short on pitching after Saturday’s 14-inning game, the Angels saw Weaver take the ball into the eighth, striking out a career-high 15 hitters in the process.
The ace. Umpire Brian Knight was calling pitches anywhere near the outside edge a strike and Weaver exploited the zone mercilessly. He struck out Jose Bautista on a curveball with his 125th pitch in the eighth inning. On his way off the field, Weaver pumped his fist as he received a standing ovation. No Angels pitchers had struck out that many batters since Chuck Finley struck out 15 Yankees 16 years ago.
Young Peter. He’s not a prototypical leadoff hitter despite his speed because of a tendency to strike out, but Peter Bourjos surprises people by how hard he hits the ball. He smashed an opposite-field triple to drive in Alberto Callaspo and Mark Trumbo with the decisive runs in the third inning.
Tired bullpen. A bunch of guys weren’t even available to pitch after Saturday’s marathon, but the ones who did backed up Weaver’s performance. Hisanori Takahashi got out of a two-on jam with a two-pitch outing in the eighth and Fernando Rodney was perfect in his first save chance since losing the closer’s role.
Mount(ing frustration) Vernon. After his eighth inning pop-up, Vernon Wells jogged back to the dugout to scattered boos from a sellout crowd at Angel Stadium. Not a good way to start his Angels career. Wells is batting .100 after his first 40 at-bats.
More Wells.What made it worse was his sixth-inningmental blunder. Wells lost track of the outs and put down his head and started jogging in, allowing two Blue Jays to take extra bases. They didn’t score because Weaver got Aaron Hill to pop-up to end the inning.
Still struggling. Does it just seem like Brandon Wood comes to the plate every time in an 0-and-2 hole? He had a single in the second inning, but also struck out two more times. Wood has struck out in six of his eight at-bats this season.