Jered Weaver scattered three hits over eight innings for his 10th victory… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )
The Angels' golden-locked local boy who has made very good, indeed, made his final start before baseball's All-Star break on Saturday night.
And Jered Weaver's performance against Baltimore provided another compelling bit of evidence as to why he's a strong candidate to start Tuesday'sAll-Star game.
Of course, the judge and jury in that case will be American League Manager Ron Washington, who has yet to announce his pick to start for the AL. If Weaver gets the nod, he'll become the first pitcher to start consecutive All-Star games since Arizona's Randy Johnson started for the National League in 2000 and 2001.
Until Washington makes up his mind, Weaver can only bask in his dominating performance in the Angels' 3-0 victory over Baltimore, a win that kept the Angels (47-38) within four games of Washington's first-place Texas Rangers (51-34) in the American League West.
Weaver, never known to need a bounty of run support, received enough help from his offense to help lift the Angels in front of an announced crowd of 41,147. The right-hander improved to 10-1 with a major league-leading 1.96 earned-run average. He also improved to 6-0 at home, where he has posted a stifling 0.58 ERA.
The win was the Angels' major league-leading 12th shutout, the most in club history before the All-Star break. The Angels had 11 shutouts all of last season.
Weaver threw eight innings, giving up three hits, walking one and striking out five, making quick work of Baltimore (45-39), which offered only fruitless swings and discouraged trots back to the dugout in a game that ended in a tidy 2 hours 20 minutes.
Weaver also became only the second pitcher since 1950 to total 10 or more pre-All-Star break wins and an ERA under 2.00 in consecutive seasons, which Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax did in 1963-64. Nice company, that.
But there is still one more game for the Angels before four of their players -- Weaver, pitcher C.J. Wilsonand outfielders Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout -- ship out to Kansas City for the All-Star game.
That would be Sunday's finale of the four-game series with Baltimore, after which the Angels get a four-day break before the season's second half begins Friday in New York against the Yankees.
And another game means another chance to tune up their offense, which was less than grand with runners on base Saturday. They stranded eight. But after hanging four baserunners out to dry in the first three innings, the Angels brought one home in the fourth, when Howie Kendrick singled to score Trumbo from third. But when the inning ended shortly thereafter, two Angels runners were still on base.
In the seventh, the Angels added two runs -- one on an RBI double by Torii Hunter, which scored Trout from first, and the other on a run-scoring single by Kendrys Morales, which scored Hunter from second.
Baltimore starter Jason Hammel (8-5) came out after that. His line: 62/3 innings, six hits, three runs.
Weaver took the mound in the eighth and it seemed like he'd finish it in the ninth, but Angels Manager Mike Scioscia ended his night after 109 pitches. Scott Downs threw a perfect ninth to earn his eighth save.