Angels right fielder Torii Hunter follows through on a home-run swing against… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)
As salvage jobs go, it was like finding a silver dollar on the street after losing a vault of coins.
Jered Weaver and Torii Hunter provided the Angels a sliver of solace Thursday at Angel Stadium, Weaver pitching seven scoreless innings and Hunter collecting two hits in one inning during a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
The triumph might have been a little more meaningful had the Angels not lost the first three games of the series against one of the teams they are chasing in the wild-card race.
Finding silver linings in what has become a tarnished pursuit of a playoff berth may be all that’s left for the Angels, who trail the New York Yankees by three games for the second wild-card spot with 18 games remaining.
Weaver (17-4) was golden in his first appearance in 11 days after missing his last start because of biceps tendinitis, holding Oakland to two hits while striking out nine. The Athletics put only two runners in scoring position against Weaver.
Weaver, who issued only one walk, extended his scoreless streak against the Athletics to 18 innings.
The Angels’ recent offensive struggles intensified over the first six innings, with batters grounding into a pair of double plays and going hitless in their first six at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Over the four-game series, the Angels scored three runs combined through the first six innings.
Then came the seventh inning.
Hunter, batting in the cleanup spot to protect No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols against left-handed starter Brett Anderson, homered leading off the inning to spark a six-run outburst.
Mark Trumbo, back in the lineup after sitting out the previous two games, hit a run-scoring single and Alberto Callaspo added a two-run single as the Angels tallied six hits and sent 11 hitters to the plate. Hunter drove in the Angels’ final run in the inning with a single to center.
Kevin Jepsen and Nick Maronde each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Angels, who went 4-3 against the Athletics during a stretch of seven head-to-head meetings in 10 days.
It was basically standing in place at a time when the Angels needed to commence a sprint to the finish.
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