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Mariners, Jesus Montero end Jered Weaver's unbeaten streak

Seattle catcher hits two home runs in a 4-1 victory over the Angels to hand ace right-hander only his second loss of season.

August 12, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Seattle's Jesus Montero is congratulated by teammate John Jaso after hitting a home run against the Angels in the sixth inning Sunday in Anaheim.
Seattle's Jesus Montero is congratulated by teammate John Jaso after… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)

So few have an answer for Jered Weaver, but Seattle catcher Jesus Montero does.

Montero hit two home runs off Weaver in the Mariners’ 4-1 victory Sunday, halting the Angels pitcher’s unbeaten run since his only other loss May 13.

Left-hander Jason Vargas, Weaver’s former Long Beach State teammate, outdueled the Cy Young Award front-runner with an 8 1/3-inning effort that included five strikeouts and a stretch of 13 consecutive Angels outs.

It was the eighth defeat in 11 games for the Angels (60-55).

Weaver (15-2) sought his 10th victory in 10 starts, which would’ve tied Chuck Finley’s 1997 team record.

History supported Weaver’s cause, given that the American League victories and earned-run average leader had won his last 10 decisions, was 8-0 with a 0.92 earned-run average at home this season and was 7-0 in 11 previous starts against the Mariners in Anaheim.

An opposing force was the heat. The game began at 91 degrees, and the temperature climbed as Weaver navigated 108 pitches in his seven innings of work.

In the fourth inning, Weaver gave up the second of his three walks, then fell behind Mike Carp, 3-0, with two outs. Weaver stepped off the mound, wiping sweat from his forehead, and rallied to get Carp to fly out to left on a full-count pitch.

He had two outs in the sixth inning before Seattle cleanup hitter John Jaso singled.

That brought up Montero, and Weaver opted for a 78-mph pitch that Montero hit as if he was expecting it, cracking the ball high over the left-field wall.

Montero is now three for six against Weaver, with three homers.

The afternoon began with Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher charging to his pitcher’s defense when plate umpire Mike Estabrook awarded Seattle’s Kyle Seager ball four in the first inning.

Butcher’s roar of protest resulted in his first ejection since 2008.

Weaver and Vargas each gave up a run in the second inning.

Montero’s first home run eluded the leaping attempt of Angels center fielder Mike Trout.

The Angels answered when Howie Kendrick walked, Erick Aybar singled him to third and Vernon Wells hit a sacrifice fly to deep right-center field.

Three Angels singles loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning, but Vargas struck out Kendrick. Following an Aybar double in the fourth, Vargas retired the next 13 Angels.

Torii Hunter’s one-out single in the eighth inning was followed by Albert Pujols’ double-play grounder.

Pujols is mired in a one-for-23 slump.

Vargas was replaced by reliever Tom Wilhelmsen following a Kendrick triple in the ninth. Wilhelmsen retired the next two batters for his 16th save.

Former Angel Chone Figgins extended Seattle’s lead to 4-1 with a ninth-inning, run-scoring triple off Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri.

ALSO:

Reliever Steven Geltz gets to fulfill dream

Dan Haren can't hold back Mariners in 7-4 loss

Albert Pujols is no longer a cause for concern

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