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Another rocky outing for Jered Weaver as Angels lose, 4-1, to Texas Rangers

Angels ace Jered Weaver has cooled off considerably since his 6-0 start to the season, going 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA in his last three starts. Friday's loss included two Texas Rangers home runs.

May 13, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch in the second inning against the Rangers on Friday night.
Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch in the second inning against… (Tony Gutierrez / Associated…)

Reporting from Arlington, Texas

Could it be there's something ailing Jered Weaver?

Or is he simply human after all?

Either way, the Angels ace wasn't himself again Friday, giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings of a 4-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

And afterward, everyone had a slightly different explanation why.

His manager, Mike Scioscia, blamed his location.

"That was not a poor game from Weav," he said. "He just missed with a couple of pitches."

His catcher, Hank Conger, blamed fate.

"It's just bad luck," he said. "When it's Weav on the mound, the expectations are a little higher."

As for Weaver, he just shrugged and blamed it on the law of averages.

"I don't know what to tell you," he said, standing alone in front of his locker. "You're not going to go out there and get wins every time out."

Perhaps not. But Weaver hasn't gotten a win since last month. And in his last three starts, he's been historically bad — for him — failing to get past the sixth inning while giving up at least three runs each time. He hasn't done that in three consecutive starts since July 2009.

"The stuff is there for the most part. But it's up," Weaver said. "I don't know if that's the matter of maybe a little dead arm or whatnot. But I feel good; the velocity's still there. I've just got to work down and move on."

The possibility of dead arm aside, the Angels insist there's nothing physically wrong with Weaver. But it's worth noting that his slide started when he was scratched from a start in Tampa, where he was treated at a hospital for what was described as a stomach virus.

Before that, Weaver was 6-0 with a 0.99 earned-run average. After making his next start on six days' rest, he's gone 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA.

And after averaging nearly eight innings in his first six starts, he hasn't gone past the sixth in his last three.

"It's a little frustrating, obviously," Weaver said. "I just hit a little bump in the road."

Weaver's frustrations started with the second batter Friday, when he left a fastball over the middle of the plate and Elvis Andrus bounced it off the padding atop the left-field scoreboard for his second home run in as many seasons.

The Angels matched that in the third on Erick Aybar's first home run of the year, which also extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.

But it was all Rangers after that.

Ian Kinsler and Michael Young led off the fourth with back-to-back doubles to put Texas in front, Andrus drove in an insurance run with a single in the fifth, and then Adrian Beltre ended the scoring in the sixth with a 412-foot homer to left-center off a high changeup.

Despite all that, Scioscia pointed out, if the Angels had managed a little offense of their own instead of going 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, it's possible no one would be focusing on Weaver.

"You're not going to be on every time out," Scioscia said. "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 tonight."

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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