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Angels' Jered Weaver gets win over White Sox, 4-3

Angels starter Jered Weaver endures two rain delays and temperatures in the low 40s to secure the victory in Chicago.

April 14, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Angels' 4-3 victory Friday over the Chicago White Sox.
Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during the first inning of… (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )

Here's how good Jered Weaver is: Even Mother Nature couldn't stop him Friday.

But boy did she try.

The Angels' ace had to endure wind, rain and bone-chilling temperatures — all of which gave him more problems than the Chicago White Sox — as he earned a 4-3 win at U.S. Cellular Field.

Yet the elements, which led to two rain delays, were about the only things that separated this victory from Weaver's three other wins this season. The right-hander went seven innings, giving up two earned runs and four hits — one more out and one less hit than he averaged in his first three starts this season.

What's more, two of those starts began with the temperatures in the low 40s, one was played in the brilliant California sunshine and another was staged indoors.

"That's April baseball. You never know what the elements are going to bring," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said.

And none of it has managed to knock Weaver off stride.

"You have to adapt to them," Scioscia said. "Jered did a great job on that mound understanding the elements.

"There were a couple of times it was really nasty."

The White Sox, who have led in all 13 of their games this season, went in front in the third inning of this one when Gordon Beckham's two-out single scored A.J. Pierzynski, who was hit by a pitch to open the inning.

The Angels got that back — and more — in their next at-bat, sending eight batters to the plate and scoring four of them in their highest-scoring inning of the young season.

The slumping Vernon Wells, who went one for four and raised his average to .113, started the rally by drawing a one-out walk. Callaspo followed with the second of his three singles, sending Wells to second from where he scored on Mark Trumbo's single.

After Hank Conger reached on an error, scoring Callaspo, Maicer Izturis closed the scoring with a two-run double to right, his third hit of the night.

Two innings later the skies opened up, forcing a 30-minute rain delay. Weaver, who said he never had a start interrupted by rain in his big league career, returned to the clubhouse to warm his jersey in a dryer and to stay loose playing catch with pitching coach Mike Butcher in a hallway.

There wasn't much he could do about the cold though.

"When you can't feel your fingertips and it's hard to get a grip of the ball sometimes, it'll [put] a damper on you," he said.

Speaking of dampers, two batters after he got back on the mound Weaver hung a breaking pitch to Adam Dunn, who drove it over the right-field wall. But he got out of that inning without further damage and then bullpen closed it out to lift the Angels to 8-5 on the season, their best start since 1995.

Asked whether Friday's weather was the worse he'd ever played in, Weaver answered quickly — and precisely.

"Absolutely not. LSU in college, it was 14 degrees and snow flurries," said Weaver, who played three seasons for Long Beach State. "The jugs were filled up with hot chocolate instead of water it was so bad. It was pretty cold."

Weaver, of course, won that game too.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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