Weaver knocks the Sox off

Times Staff Writer

The only disappointment for the Angels on Tuesday night was that they couldn't reward Jered Weaver's brilliant seven-inning, one-hit, six-strikeout effort with a win.

Otherwise, there were no complaints after the Angels scratched out a pair of runs in the eighth inning for a 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox, rebounding from a four-game losing streak with their second win in a row.

Mike Napoli and Robb Quinlan drove in runs, Scot Shields threw a scoreless eighth to gain the win, and Francisco Rodriguez, after giving up a one-out double to Carlos Quentin in the ninth, retired Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye for his major league-leading 16th save.

But the star in Angel Stadium was Weaver, who followed one of the worst starts of his career -- he was rocked for eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings in Kansas City last Wednesday -- with one of his best, which kept the Angels on even terms with Chicago left-hander John Danks, who threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

"That was the best stuff Jered has had in two years," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "His pitch count (109) was a little high . . . but you can't pitch any better than he did."

Had the Angels scored after loading the bases with one out in the seventh, Weaver would have emerged with a win, but White Sox reliever Octavio Dotel struck out Erick Aybar and Vladimir Guerrero to snuff out the rally.

Torii Hunter then opened the eighth with a single off Dotel, and Chicago Manager Ozzie Guillen summoned left-hander Matt Thornton to face Garret Anderson, who was hitting .226 against lefties. Thornton threw three straight balls, and Scioscia gave Anderson a green light on 3 and 0.

Anderson laced a single to right field that Dye dived for but couldn't catch, advancing Hunter to third. Napoli followed with a sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 lead, and Anderson alertly tagged and took second on Nick Swisher's throw home.

Quinlan then hit a two-out, run-scoring single to right, the Angels' first hit in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, to make it 2-0.

"It looked like Garret was seeing the ball well -- he laid off some good pitches," Scioscia said. "He can square up a fastball, and with the hole on the right side, I liked our chances. He hit a bullet, and that set up the rest of the inning."

Much like Anderson, who credited a swing adjustment with his recent surge -- he's batting .452 (14 for 31) with three homers in his last nine games -- Weaver said some mechanical adjustments he made between starts led to Tuesday's turnaround.

"I made some adjustments in the bullpen and took it to the mound, and everything felt good," Weaver said. "I tried to pitch like the old Jered, and it came out all right."

After last week's loss, Weaver, said he might have to change his approach to adjust to hitters who had adjusted to him.

"I said when I first came up I was going to pitch my game up until people start figuring me out," Weaver said. "And people are starting to figure me out."

Scioscia did not agree.

"Sure, hitters, as they see a guy's delivery and learn what he's trying to do, maybe they get more comfortable against him," Scioscia said. "But I don't think Jered has to change his game plan or pitch selection.

"I don't think there was any magic formula he was wowing people with when he came up a couple of years ago. It was talent, the execution of pitches, and that's what he has to get back to."

Weaver got back to that -- and then some -- Tuesday night, darting his fastball around the strike zone, hitting 95 mph on the stadium radar gun on his first-inning strikeout of Quentin, and skillfully mixing in his curve and changeup.

The only hit he yielded was A.J. Pierzynski's clean single to center leading off the fifth.

"He took the mound with the confidence of a guy who felt his stuff was coming back," Scioscia said. "He had a sense of purpose from the way he came to the park to the way he warmed up. You could see in the first inning, the way his stuff was coming out of his hand."



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