Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during the Angels' 11-6… (Christine Cotter / Associated…)
Staked to a big, early lead, Jered Weaver won his American League-leading 13th game Wednesday as the Angels defeated the Kansas City Royals, 11-6, at Angel Stadium.
Weaver struck out eight in five innings to tie Tampa Bay’s David Price for the AL lead in wins. Price pitches Wednesday night at the Baltimore Orioles.
The Angels (54-45) jumped on Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar and his mistake-prone teammates for a 6-0 lead after two innings.
Victory was punctuated in the eighth when Mike Trout and Torii Hunter struck back-to-back home runs off Royals reliever Luis Coleman.
Trout’s homer was his 16th of the season, capping a three-run afternoon. The Angels now have 33 homers in July, the most in the American League.
Hunter only found out he was playing late Wednesday morning after Angels slugger Albert Pujols was scratched because of a bruised right elbow after being hit by a pitch Tuesday night. X-rays came back negative, and Pujols said he's hopeful to play Friday.
In Pujols’ absence, Hunter was four for five with three runs batted in, three runs scored and three singles, pacing his team's 17-hit attack.
To open the day, Trout doubled and Hunter singled against Hochevar (6-9), who then threw a wild pitch that let Trout score.
Mark Trumbo singled. Kendrys Morales hit a run-scoring groundout to first. And Alberto Callaspo knocked in Trumbo with a double.
In the second inning, the Royals (41-56) couldn’t get an out on Peter Bourjos' leadoff grounder to shortstop Alcides Escobar (bobbled), or Bobby Wilson’s ensuing sacrifice bunt attempt to first baseman Eric Hosmer (held without a play at first).
Trout reached by grounding into a fielder’s choice at third on which Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas made an errant throw that got past Hosmer. Hunter followed with a run-scoring single, and Trumbo scored on a tapper Hochevar fielded halfway to first base.
That was a fortune of support for American League earned-run average leader Weaver (13-1), who’s now 29-12 in day games and 16-2 in his last 24 home starts.
The Angels inflated the lead to 8-0 with an RBI double by Maicer Izturis in the third and a home run in the fourth by No. 9 hitter Bobby Wilson.
Hochevar then beaned AL batting leader Trout with a fastball, promting plate umpire Bob Davidson to eject the pitcher without a prior warning.
Weaver had previously twice hit the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain a day after Cain homered -- and four months after the center fielder hit a towering blast off Weaver in spring training.
Weaver struck out a swinging Cain in the fifth inning before Royals cleanup hitter Billy Butler smashed a full-count pitch off the left-field foul pole for his 20th homer of the season, making the score 8-2.
Reliever Jason Isringhausen was summoned for the sixth inning after Weaver’s 101-pitch outing.
Isringhausen and LaTroy Hawkins each contributed an inning in which they retired the side.
Scott Downs wasn’t as fortunate, allowing a three-run homer to Kanas City’s Jeff Francoeur in the eighth after Francoeur had struck out in his three prior at-bats.
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