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Royals figure out Angels' Weaver in 9-4 hit parade

May 08, 2008|Kevin Baxter | Times Staff Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The forecast called for rain, heavy at times, throughout the Kansas City area Wednesday.

Aside from a pregame drizzle, however, the rains never came. Which was unfortunate for the Angels and pitcher Jered Weaver, who clearly would have preferred a washout to the 9-4 blowout the Royals handed them at Kauffman Stadium.

Weaver lasted only 3 1/3 innings, with the Royals showering him for 10 hits and a career-high eight runs, his worst outing since he surrendered seven runs in the span of four outs in his second start last season. And two of those hits went a combined 800 feet, with David DeJesus and Alex Gordon belting mammoth home runs into the Kansas City bullpen.

"One of those days. What are you going to do?" Weaver said. "If you can't command the ball, you aren't going to get people out."

But those days have come more frequently for Weaver lately. The right-hander has given up 10 hits in three of his last five starts and has given up at least five runs three times in his last six outings.

He gave up as many as 10 hits only twice last year

"It's just been one of those years so far," he said. "I said when I first came up I was going to pitch my game up until people start figuring me out. And people are starting to figure me out."

Count DeJesus among them. His three-run homer capped a four-run second inning in which the Royals batted around, taking a 5-1 lead. And afterward he said the Royals had a pretty good idea what to expect from Weaver.

"Our plan was to make him get the ball up on the plate so we could drive it," said DeJesus, who began the game with one hit in 10 at-bats all-time against Weaver. "Once he started missing the corners he had to bring it over the plate. And once one guy started hitting, everybody started hitting."

Gordon finally brought the pitcher's outing to a merciful end in the fourth inning with a two-run homer that dropped Weaver's record to 2-5 and sent his ERA soaring to 5.59, nearly a run and a quarter higher than when the game started.

By the sixth inning, Manager Mike Scioscia was waving the white flag, too, pulling outfielders Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter.

It was an ignominious end to the Angels' four-game winning streak, part of a surge in which they had won six of eight games to move nine games over .500. And it also cost them a chance to take advantage of a shaky effort by starter Zack Greinke, who gave up a season-worst three earned runs but still managed to improve his record to 4-1 thanks to an offense that matched season bests with nine runs and 14 hits.

Every Kansas City starter had at least one hit and either a run or a run batted in, with slumping ex-Angel Jose Guillen, who began the game hitting .165, going three for three and scoring twice.

The Angels got eight hits against Greinke and two relievers, but two of them were homers -- a booming two-run seventh-inning drive by Mike Napoli well behind the left-field wall and a solo drive by Garret Anderson down the right-field line leading off the ninth.

For Napoli, the homer was his team-leading eighth and Anderson, who also tripled, has hit home runs in three consecutive games for the first time since 2003.

"You can't sweep everybody," Hunter said. "You just want to go out there and try to win the series. We won the series yesterday. If you sweep them, that's a bonus.

"Sometimes, you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. We were the bug [today]."

--

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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