Jered Weaver received a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 40,112 at Angel Stadium in the fourth inning Wednesday. He was only getting started. Weaver needed just 94 pitches to throw the second complete game by an Angels starter this season, holding the Houston Astros to two hits in a 2-1 victory. “Man, that was unbelievable,” Angels catcher Hank Conger said. “I call it an ‘Xbox game.’ I call a pitch and he hits the spot.” Using a fastball that topped out at 88 mph, Weaver took advantage of a young Astros lineup eager to swing at anything over the plate. The 31-year-old veteran was the definition of efficiency: Nine plate appearances ended with a single pitch and he never threw more than 14 in a single inning. The result was Weaver’s first complete-game victory at Angel Stadium since May 2, 2012, when he no-hit the Minnesota Twins. “It’s been a little while since I was out there for the ninth,” Weaver said. “It was definitely very exciting to run out there for the ninth and hear the fans. That’s what you pitch for, to go deep into games.” The Angels took two of three games from the Astros in the series. They head into their off-day with a 26-20 record, good for second place in the American League West and four games behind first-place Oakland. Weaver’s dominance overshadowed a strong performance by Houston Astros counterpart Collin McHugh. The 26-year-old right-hander pitched seven innings and allowed just four hits, walked two batters and struck out seven. One of the four hits was a solo home run by Albert Pujols that landed in the Angels’ bullpen in left field and broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning. The home run was Pujols’ 13th this season, tied for third in the American League, and the 505th of his career. He broke a tie with Eddie Murray on baseball’s all-time home run list and moved into sole possession of 25th place. Coincidentally, the Angels distributed bobbleheads commemorating Pujols’ 500th career home run before the game. They even invited the fan who retrieved Pujols’ 500th home run ball, Pomona native Tom Sherrill, to put the game ball on the mound for Weaver. Weaver’s standing O came after he caught Astros catcher Jason Castro looking for his third strikeout of the game and the 1,284th of his career. That moved him past Mike Witt for third place on the Angels’ all-time strikeout list. “I didn’t even know that I was coming up on a milestone at all,” Weaver said. “I was looking up but I couldn’t realize what was going on. All I saw was Hank was asking for the ball.” The Angel Stadium video board noted that Weaver passed Witt, but it failed to mention that two pitchers – Nolan Ryan and Chuck Finley – still rank above Weaver on the Angels’ all-time strikeout list.
Jered Weaver dominates the Houston Astros in Angels’ 2-1 victory
L.A. Daily News | May 22