Weaver spins another gem in Cleveland

Associated Press


When Jered Weaver takes the mound at Progressive Field, he’s king of the hill.

Just don’t ask him why.

Weaver chalked up another win in Cleveland and Josh Hamilton hit a three-run homer in the first inning 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 Friday night.

Weaver (7-5) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander has dominated in Cleveland’s ballpark, going 6-0 with 1.64 ERA 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.

Afterward, Weaver was unaware of his supremacy in Cleveland.

“I have no idea,” Weaver said. “I’m not a numbers guy. I feel comfortable in this park.”

Hamilton connected in the first when the Angels scored five off Scott Kazmir (7-5), who lost for the first time since June 10 — a span of 10 starts — and didn’t get any redemption against the team that released him one start into his 2011 season.

Not that he was looking for any.

“There aren’t any hard feelings or anything like that,” he said. “It was business.”

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.

“I was pretty erratic early on,” Weaver said. “My command probably wasn’t as good as it has been, but I was able to make some pitches to get guys out. The five-run lead helped a lot.”

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.

Afterward, Kazmir, who has pitched 114 innings after throwing only 64 last season, said his arm is tired.

“It feels like I’m going through a little bit of dead-arm fatigue,” he said. “I thought I could go out there and gut it out, but it just didn’t work out.”

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.

“It didn’t look like he had his best stuff to start,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But some little things led to some bigger things and I think he’s a little bit tired.”

Brantley picked up one of the runs in the second with his eighth homer.

Cabrera brought the Indians within 5-2 in the fourth by connecting for his ninth homer.

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