It looks like we have a race again in the American League West. The Los Angeles Angels slugged six extra-base hits on the night, backing seven shutout innings from ace Jered Weaver, beating the Chicago White Sox 8-0 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The win was the sixth straight for the Angels.
Coupled with the Texas Rangers' 13-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Angels are now just two and a half games behind Texas for first place in the American League West. Just six nights ago, the Angels were three outs away from getting swept by Texas and falling eight games back, but Mark Trumbo's two-run walk-off home run snatched vistory from the jaws of defeat and the Angels have not looked back.
The Angels got production from the bottom of their order Wednesday night, starting in the second inning. Erick Aybar singled in Trumbo to open the scoring, then Jeff Mathis of all people hit a two-run double to push the lead to 3-0. The Angels tacked on four runs in the seventh inning, which included three run-scoring doubles, including a two-run two-bagger from Aybar.
Torii Hunter hit a solo home run in the third inning, his 18th long ball of the season. That was Hunter's only hit of the night, but it continued his scorching August. Hunter has a hit in 20 of 21 games this month, hitting .392/.448/.646 with five home runs.
Weaver was magnificent in his first start since signing a five-year, $85 million contract extension earlier in the week. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks, while striking out eight. Weaver lowered his league-leading ERA to 2.03 on the season. Weaver earned his 15th victory of the season, one shy of his career high, set in 2009.
Weaver has allowed 14 runs in 12 home starts this season, and is 7-1 with a 1.38 ERA in Anaheim.
More importantly, Weaver threw just 96 pitches, and might pitch Sunday on three days rest against the Rangers in Arlington. The Angels are off Thursday before beginning a weekend showdown series in Texas.
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