Weaver brothers meet again in Angels-Dodgers game
When Jered Weaver got the start Sunday, there was the possibility that the Angels’ ace could pitch against his older brother.
That situation arose early as Jeff Weaver replaced Dodgers starter Carlos Monasterios with two out in the third inning at Dodger Stadium.
Jeff led off the bottom of the third against Jered, the first time brothers had faced each in the major leagues since Oakland’s Ruddy Lugo pitched to his brother Julio in Boston on Sept. 26, 2007.
It was also the first time the two had pitched to each other in their professional careers.
Jered threw down and away to his brother, including a slider that Jeff swung at and missed. After throwing two consecutive balls, Jered finally struck Jeff out on a called third strike.
Then it was back to playful bickering between the two.
“He’s a wuss,” Jeff, 33, said of the off-speed pitch his brother struck him out on.
“Why is he swinging at it?” Jered, 27, said. “He’s the better hitter of the two of us, so you still have to keep him off balance.”
Jered batted against Jeff with one out in the fourth inning and looked at a strike before grounding out to second base on the next pitch.
Jeff said he expected to get his brother out, despite Jered’s single in his previous at-bat, against Monasterios.
“That was a fluke,” Jeff said.
Even Angels Manager Mike Scioscia got in on the trash talk.
“At least Jered put the ball in play,” he said, smiling.
Along with a one for three at the plate, Jered picked up a 6-5 victory with six solid innings.
“It’s 1-0, Jered,” he said. Of course, he was forgetting about last year’s result, when the two pitched against each other and Jeff and the Dodgers won.
“Oh yeah, even then,” Jered said. “We’ll call it even.”
Bullish on reliever
A day after putting the Dodgers away with four scoreless innings, the Angels’ bullpen closed out another victory Sunday. This time, the relievers barely held on.
Kevin Jepsen allowed the runner he inherited from Jered Weaver to score in the seventh, and Fernando Rodney gave up two runs in the eighth on James Loney’s double before closer Brian Fuentes pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.
Fuentes put the potential tying run on base when he walked pinch-hitter Casey Blake to start the inning before striking out Matt Kemp on a 91-mph fastball and getting Rafael Furcal to hit into a game-ending double play on a curveball. Fuentes has converted all four save opportunities this month in part because of a livelier and better-located fastball, Scioscia said.
“Sometimes I go out there and I have nothing,” Fuentes said. “And if I have nothing, I’m going to still give my nothing and see what turns out of it. But today I was all right.”
Jepsen, who also pitched a shaky but scoreless inning Saturday, said that the brace he has been wearing on his right knee since last month “might inhibit me sometimes” and added it could get “to a point where I say, ‘Enough,’ and just go out there and try to do without it.”
Mathis on the mend
Catcher Jeff Mathis sat out a third consecutive game because of a sore right thumb but could resume his minor league rehabilitation assignment Monday.
Scioscia said Mathis would need a few more games at triple-A Salt Lake before rejoining the Angels.
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