ARLINGTON, Texas – Jered Weaver isn't pitching poorly. The wins just aren't coming the way they did during the first month of the season when he was the most dominant pitcher in the big leagues.
Weaver allowed four runs in six innings Friday night as the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1. The right-hander won his first six starts before dropping his past three, allowing only 11 runs in those losses. But he set the bar high with a 0.99 ERA in his initial six starts.
"The last three starts, the stuff's been up," said Weaver, who yielded seven hits, struck out six and walked one. "I don't know if it's a matter of maybe it's a little bit of a dead arm or whatnot. But I feel good, the velocity's still there."
Weaver (6-3) gave up solo homers to Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre on pitches high in the strike zone after allowing only two homers in his first eight starts.
"Outside of a couple of pitches, he didn't pitch that badly," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When he made mistakes tonight, they didn't miss 'em. Tonight if we were swinging the bats the way we could, he gave us a chance to win. I don't think he was that far off."
The last time Weaver pitched in Texas on April 20, he tossed a complete game in a 4-1 victory.
"He threw a great game against us the last time he was here, but we were able to capitalize on some mistakes that he made and especially when we had our pitcher throwing the way he did today," Beltre said. "It gave the offense a little more breathing room."
Texas starter Alexi Ogando was better than Weaver on this night, with Ogando allowing one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
"If you pitch up in this ballpark, you're going to be in trouble, and the ball was up for the most part," Weaver said. "Nothing to hang my head about, but I felt I could have pitched a little better. Ogando threw a great ballgame. I had to throw a shutout today and it wasn't going to happen with the ball up. That's how it rolls sometimes."
Ogando (4-0) missed his scheduled start last Sunday against the New York Yankees because of a blister on his right index finger. He was in command against the Angels in his eighth career start, all this season after moving from the bullpen.
The lanky right-hander pitched for the first time since May 3, striking out five and walking one.
Erick Aybar homered for the Angels, who had won five of eight.
Andrus' solo homer in the first gave Texas the lead. In the third, Aybar connected with two outs, his first of the season, to tie it at 1.
Beltre's solo shot in the sixth was his team-high ninth, extending Texas' advantage to 4-1, and that was good enough to beat Weaver.
NOTES: The Angels began a seven-game trip and opened a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. ... Aybar extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. ... Weaver had won his previous three starts against Texas.