Angels 4, Rangers 1: Three Up, Three Down

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
8:29
PM PT
The Angels got another brilliant performance from ace Jered Weaver and beat the Texas Rangers, 4-1, Wednesday night to take over sole possession of first place.

The Good:

Um, Weaver. You could tell by his reaction after the game that Weaver was particularly fired-up about this game. Not only did he win for just the second time in 11 starts in Texas, but he showed he can finish. It was just the fifth complete game of Weaver's outstanding career. At 5-0, he's halfway to locking up an All-Star berth and he still has two more starts left in April. It's been a ridiculously good three weeks for the Angels' best pitcher.

The fly trap. Manager Mike Scioscia moved Peter Bourjos up to a new place in the batting order, seventh, and he rewarded him by getting on base twice, including on a triple, and scoring a run. But offense isn't this guy's primary calling card. He went to the deepest part of the park, jumped and snatched away what might have been a home run from David Murphy. The biggest difference so far this year is the Angels' defense and Bourjos is probably the best defender.

Slump buster. When Vernon Wells got back to the bat rack after his first Angels home run, nobody reacted at first. But they couldn't keep the silent treatment gag going for long and Scioscia and Torii Hunter quickly embraced Wells. With a struggling offense, the Angels desperately need to get this guy going and a series in his hometown seems to have started that ball rolling.

The Bad:

Hitting. The Angels scored 15 runs fueled mostly by the bottom of the lineup Tuesday night. Wednesday they didn't get much offense at all against a good lefty, Matt Hairston, picking up just five hits total and one with runners in scoring position. As good as the pitching and defense have been, offense has been non-mandatory most nights.

One at-bat. When Mike Napoli was with the Angels, he and Weaver were pals, so you know he'll get a kick out of his eighth-inning double. Weaver hung a fastball and Napoli put a charge into it to center field.

Torii. He had been struggling badly, but some nights are just unlucky. Hunter hit a rocket to left field, but the Rangers had a good scouting report and Nelson Cruz was standing right there. Overall, he's in one of the nastier slumps of his Angels career, just three hits in his last 36 at-bats, his average slipping to .208.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
11 3.36 110 139
OTHER LEADERS
BAM. Trout .309
HRM. Trout 24
RBIM. Trout 76
RM. Trout 71
OPSM. Trout 1.005
ERAG. Richards 2.47
SOG. Richards 134