Weaver, Angels Top Cleveland 5-2
CLEVELAND – Jered Weaver chalked up another win in Cleveland and Josh Hamilton hit a three-run homer as the Los Angeles Angels ended their four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Indians, who dropped their fifth in a row on Friday night.
Weaver (7-5) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander has dominated at Progressive Field, going 6-0 in nine career starts. According to the Angels, he entered the game as the first pitcher since 1916 to be 5-0 or better with an ERA of 1.52 or lower at any road ballpark.
Hamilton connected in the first inning when the Angels scored five off Scott Kazmir (7-5), who lost for the first time since June 10 – a span of 10 starts.
J.C. Gutierrez worked the eighth and rookie Dane De La Rosa had a 1-2-3 ninth for his first major league save. De La Rosa got a diving catch by left fielder Collin Cowgill for the first out.
Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera homered for Cleveland, still reeling from a four-game sweep by AL Central-leading Detroit.
The Angels came in staggering as well.
They were swept in three straight at home by the Rangers, who stole 13 bases in back-to-back games. But staked to the 5-0 lead, Weaver handled the Indians and won his fourth straight decision, and for the sixth time in eight starts dating to July 2. He’s 5-0 with a 0.63 ERA in his last six starts in Cleveland.
The Indians were counting on Kazmir to turn things around after the first-place Tigers came to town and ransacked their closest division rival.
But the left-hander, who came in 5-0 in nine home starts this season, couldn’t get out of the third inning against his former teammates.
Kazmir was released by the Angels after just one start in 2011, the beginning of a long trip back to the majors that detoured through independent ball. Last season, he pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League, a world away from the AL he had known since 2004.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia admires Kazmir’s perseverance.
“It says a lot that he didn’t want to just take it to the ranch and relax and give up on something he loves to do,” Scioscia said. “It’s tough to see any player go through what Scott did. We saw it firsthand. It was really rough for him and disappointing for us. For a pitcher to rediscover himself like Scott has, it takes a lot of hard work and determination.”
Kazmir, though, lasted just three innings, allowing five runs and six hits in his shortest outing since June 15.
Kazmir’s first inning couldn’t have gone much worse – for him or the Indians.
The Angels rocked him for five runs, three coming on Hamilton’s 17th homer, and the left-hander was forced to throw 40 pitches to get three outs.
J.B. Shuck led off with a single and went to third on Cowgill’s blooper. Mike Trout walked on a pitch that could have been called strike three and Mark Trumbo followed with a two-run single. Trout stole third, and out later, Hamilton, in a 2-for-25 slump, launched his homer into the right-field seats to make it 5-0.
Once he finally got out of the inning, Kazmir walked slowly back to Cleveland’s dugout.
Brantley picked up one of the runs in the second with his eighth homer.
Cabrera, who lined out his first time up, brought the Indians within 5-2 in the fourth by connecting for his ninth homer.
But that’s as close as Cleveland got, as Weaver got stronger over the next three innings, allowing just one hit.
NOTES: Trout has reached base in 39 straight games, the second-longest streak in team history. … With their bullpen taxed by the Tigers, the Indians recalled RHP Carlos Carrasco and he pitched five shutout innings. … Entering the weekend, the Indians had held opponents’ 3-4-5 hitters to a major league-low .234 average. According to STATS LLC, that figure – at season’s end – would be the lowest since 1972. … Scioscia said a decision on whether to place 2B Howie Kendrick (sprained left knee) on the disabled list will be made in the next day or two. Kendrick is traveling with the team. He was injured Monday against Texas while chasing a popup … Despite the loss, the Indians are still 16-5 against the AL West.