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Ace Jered Weaver to start All-Star game

Weaver, who is 11-4 with a major league-leading 1.86 earned-run average, says, 'It's a very humbling experience.' He is the first Angel to start the game since 1993 and fifth ever.

July 10, 2011|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels starter Jered Weaver, unleashing a pitch against the Oakland Athletics at Anaheim Stadium earlier this season, leads the majors with a 1.86 earned-run average.
Angels starter Jered Weaver, unleashing a pitch against the Oakland Athletics… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

Angels ace Jered Weaver was informed Sunday morning that he will start Tuesday night's All-Star game for the American League at Chase Field in Phoenix.

"It's definitely a little surprising," said Weaver, who is 11-4 with a major league-leading 1.86 earned-run average. "Never in my lifetime would I have imagined starting an All-Star game or even being in one. It's a very humbling experience. I'm truly honored and excited to represent the Angels."

Weaver will be the first Angels pitcher to start the All-Star game since Mark Langston in 1993. Only three other Angels pitchers have started the game; Ken McBride in 1963, Dean Chance in 1964 and Nolan Ryan in 1979.

Weaver was named to the all-star team last season, when he went 13-12 with a 3.01 ERA and a major league-leading 233 strikeouts, but he was ineligible to play because he pitched the previous Sunday.

That rule helped Weaver this season, as his stiffest competition for the start, Detroit ace Justin Verlander, pitched Sunday. Verlander is 12-4 with a 2.15 ERA and an AL-leading 147 strikeouts.

Weaver, 28, is 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA in his last seven starts after losing his first four games in May. He ranks second in the AL in wins, second in innings (1401/3 ), fifth in strikeouts (130) and third in opponents' batting average (.194).

"I'm sure it will be very nerve-wracking," Weaver said, "but I guess I won't really know until I get out there."

Free pass

Bobby Abreu will always remember his third-inning walk Sunday, not because it was the 1,400th walk of his career but because it took him only three balls to achieve it.

Official scorer Ed Munson confirmed that Abreu jogged to first on a ball from Felix Hernandez that actually made the count 3-and-1. There was no protest from the Seattle bench, which did not catch umpire Gerry Davis' mistake.

"I knew it at the time," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It happens."

Indeed, on July 2, the Mariners lost to San Diego when pitcher Doug Fister walked Cameron Maybin on three balls, and Maybin eventually scored the winning run in a 1-0 game. Sunday's mistake wasn't costly, as Hernandez retired the next two batters.

"I thought it was ball four," Abreu said. "I guess I was confused too. I thought it was a 3-1 pitch. When I got back to the dugout, they told me it was 2-1. That's the first time that's happened to me. It was funny. We'll take it."

Rookie mistake

The Mariners would have scored one run instead of two in the first inning Sunday if center fielder Mike Trout, in his third big league game, had thrown to the correct base.

With Brendan Ryan on second and Dustin Ackley on first, Justin Smoak flied to Trout in deep center. Both runners tagged, and when Trout threw to shortstop Erick Aybar, who was lined up with third base, Ackley continued to second.

Both runners scored on Adam Kennedy's single to left. Had Trout thrown to second, Ackley would have held.

"He threw to the wrong base," Scioscia said of Trout. "But there was no play at third, so the right play would have been for the cut-off man to line up with second. So, two guys erred on the play."

Short hops

Infielder Maicer Izturis, who is nursing a sore left forearm, did not start for the second time in three games Sunday.… Reliever Fernando Rodney, out since June 9 because of an upper-back strain, threw off a mound Sunday for the first time in three weeks.

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