Angels hitters heat up, Jered Weaver shuts down Royals in 11-6 win
With Jered Weaver pitching at home and Angels hitters warm to the idea of a favorable matchup on a hot day, the expected victory became reality Wednesday.
Staked to a big early lead, Weaver won his 13th game as the Angels hit three home runs to defeat the Kansas City Royals, 11-6, at Angel Stadium.
Weaver (13-1, with an AL-best 2.26 earned-run average) struck out eight in five innings.
Weaver is 8-0 at home and is the first starter in team history to win 13 of his first 14 decisions.
“A win for me is great, but I want wins as a team, and those guys battled for me today,” said Weaver, who walked two and hit two batters while throwing 101 pitches.
“My command was not there. I was erratic, was up. It was not my best stuff.”
The Angels (54-45) jumped on Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar (6-9, 5.26 ERA) and his mistake-prone teammates for a 6-0 lead after two innings.
Victory was punctuated in the eighth, when Mike Trout and Torii Hunter hit consecutive home runs against Luis Coleman.
Trout’s homer was his 16th of the season.
Hunter learned he’d be the designated hitter late Wednesday morning, when Angels slugger Albert Pujols was held out after being hit by a pitch and suffering a bruised right elbow Tuesday night. X-rays came back negative, and Pujols said he hopes to play Friday.
Hunter was four for five with three runs batted in, three runs and three singles as the Angels increased their league-high home run total in July to 33.
To open the day, Trout doubled and 37-year-old Hunter singled against Hochevar, who then threw a wild pitch that allowed Trout to score the first of three runs in the opening inning. Trout scored three times in the game and had two of the Angels’ 17 hits.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of fastballs because they don’t want Trout to steal, and they want to be quick to the plate,” Hunter said. “His speed changes the game.
“This guy is something special, and it’s my goal to be fruitful and give him everything he needs off the field and on the field to help his career.”
The pair reached base and scored again in the second.
That was a fortune in support for Weaver, who is 16-2 in his last 24 home starts.
The Angels stretched the lead to 8-0 on a home run in the fourth by No. 9 hitter Bobby Wilson.
Hochevar then hit AL batting leader Trout with a fastball, prompting plate umpire Bob Davidson to eject the pitcher without a warning.
“I just asked him why I was run and he said, ‘Because the guy before hit a home run, and then you hit the next guy,’ ” Hochevar said. “I’ve never … hit a player out of frustration.”
Weaver twice hit the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain a day after Cain homered — and four months after the center fielder hit a towering blast against Weaver in spring training.
Weaver said he couldn’t recall the spring homer, adding, “I don’t want to hit or walk people with a six-run lead.”
Weaver struck out a swinging Cain in the fifth inning before cleanup hitter Billy Butler smashed a full-count pitch off the left-field foul pole for his 20th homer.
twitter.com/latimespugmireTimes staff writers Mike DiGiovanna and Andrew John contributed to this report.
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