ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- At this point in his outstanding rookie
season, few things faze Jered Weaver. He's not intimidated by
matching up against a Cy Young Award winner, nor facing a World
Series MVP with the bases loaded.
Weaver struck out Troy Glaus with three runners on to help
preserve his 11th victory, and the Los Angeles Angels took
advantage of a first-inning injury to Toronto ace Roy Halladay in a
4-3 victory Sunday over the Blue Jays.
"I would have been more than happy to go up against a Cy Young
winner," Weaver said. "I was kind of disappointed when that
happened, but obviously it was good for us to get to their bullpen
Weaver (11-2) threw a career-high 113 pitches over 5 2/3 innings
in his first start against Toronto. He allowed three runs and five
hits, including Adam Lind's first major league homer. It was the
14th time in 16 starts that the right-hander allowed no more than
Weaver walked three and struck out eight, including Glaus on a
called third strike to escape a fifth-inning jam. Glaus argued the
call on the 1-2 pitch with plate umpire Mark Wegner and was ejected
-- leaving the 2002 World Series MVP 4-for-20 with four RBI this
season against his former team.
"I came up with a big pitch with the bases loaded," Weaver
said. "Obviously, with a guy like that at the plate, you're trying
to locate and make a perfect pitch -- and it ended up being one. So
I was more than happy to get out of that."
Another critical moment came in the Toronto eighth, when Scot
Shields threw a slider to Russ Adams and got him to hit an
inning-ending double-play grounder to second baseman Adam Kennedy
with runners at the corners. Adams grounded into only four double
plays in his previous 218 at-bats this season.
"I was lucky he hit it hard enough, because he can run a little
bit," Shields said. "That ball scooted across and stayed down,
but Adam did a good job of staying down on it and giving us a
chance to get to Frankie."
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning for his major
league-leading 41st save, keeping the Angels 5½ games behind AL
West-leading Oakland. The 24-year-old right-hander became the
youngest pitcher in major league history with 100 career saves,
breaking the previous mark held by Gregg Olson.
"I've been thinking about that for a while since I heard about
it," said Rodriguez, who extended his scoreless streak to 28 1-3
innings. "I feel excited and really happy. It's a big step in my
career. I have to thank Shields and the rest of the guys in the
bullpen because I couldn't have done it so quick without them."
Halladay made only 16 pitches, departing with two outs and
runners at first and third after Garret Anderson lined a single off
his pitching elbow. X-rays showed no structural damage, just a
bruise and some residual swelling.
The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star was
replaced by Josh Towers, who made his first appearance since being
recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday.
Towers (1-10) was charged with four runs -- two earned -- and five
hits over 1 2-3 innings in his first relief outing since Aug. 30,
2003, when he worked 2 2/3 innings for his only save in the big
leagues. The right-hander had a 9.11 ERA in 12 starts this season
before getting sent to the minors for the second time on June 27.
The Angels grabbed a 4-2 lead during a three-run third,
capitalizing on a throwing error by shortstop John McDonald on a
potential double-play grounder by Juan Rivera. Howie Kendrick's
sacrifice fly put the Angels ahead for good, and Chone Figgins
drove in their fourth run with a single against Scott Downs.
Lind gave Toronto a 2-0 lead in the second with his two-run
homer. The Angels got one run back in the bottom half on Mike
Napoli's 15th homer.
The Angels surpassed the 3 million mark in home attendance
for the fourth straight year. ... Weaver is three victories shy of
the Angels record for wins by a rookie starter -- which is shared by
Dean Chance (1962), Marcelino Lopez (1965) and Frank Tanana (1974).
... Rodriguez is the third pitcher in Angels history with 100 or
more saves, joining Troy Percival (316) and Bryan Harvey (126).