Jered Weaver threw seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Angels’ offense awakened from an A’s-induced slumber on the way to a 6-0 win over Oakland before on Thursday.
It was a crucial victory for the Angels, who lost the first three games of the series to the A’s while scoring a total of just seven runs. The Angels still trail Oakland by 4½ games in the standings.
“Obviously every game is going to be important and those guys took it to us the first three,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Weaver and A’s starter Brett Anderson were locked in a pitchers’ duel through six innings of a 0-0 game. But after Weaver put up another zero in the seventh, the Angels’ offense finally broke through in a big way in the bottom of the seventh.
Torii Hunter started the inning with a towering home run to right-center field, and he finished it with an RBI single, capping the six-run inning. In between, the Angels got an RBI single by Mark Trumbo, a two-run single by Alberto Callaspo and a run scored by Mike Trout on a passed ball.
That six-run inning was more than enough for Weaver, who returned to the mound after missing a start because of biceps tendinitis in his right arm.
Weaver gave up just two hits while striking out nine and walking one. He improved to 17-4 on the season, including 3-0 against the A’s. No Oakland baserunner got as far as third base against Weaver, and only two even reached second base.
Despite the loss, the A’s return home in good shape, leading the wild-card race.
“It was a good road trip for us,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of his team, which won six of seven in Seattle and Anaheim. “You want to get as greedy as you can when you’re in that position. But Weaver was really good and so was [Anderson]. It was two really good pitchers putting up zeroes.”
Anderson (4-1) was effective early in the game for the A’s in what was just his fifth start since his return to the starting rotation on Aug. 22 following Tommy John surgery in July of 2011.
The only hits off Weaver were Josh Reddick’s first-inning single and Jemile Weeks’ bloop double in the third.
“With his numbers, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Anderson said of Weaver. “Especially at home during the day. Obviously you know it’s going to be a tough day going into it.”