Jered Weaver and the Angels came out on top in a sensational pitchers’ duel Thursday afternoon against the Texas Rangers. Using an unearned run and a brilliant performance by their ace and bullpen, the Angels managed to sneak a 1-0 win by the Rangers. The win moves the Halos to within three games of the the AL West division leading Rangers.
Weaver (13-4) went seven innings, scattering 7 hits, while striking out 6 and walking two. The cross-firing right-hander was only in trouble once, in the 6th inning the Rangers loaded the bases with two outs, but Weaver struck out Mithch Moreland to end the threat and keep the shutout intact. The seven scoreless innings pitched by Weaver lowers his AL leading ERA to 1.81, a third of a run better than second place Josh Beckett.
It was a tough lose for Rangers’ starter CJ Wilson. Wilson (10-4) went 8 innings without allowing an earned run, but was the victim of the Texas defenses’ 76th error of the season. Only the Oakland Athletics have made more errors (77) in 2011. The only hits Wilson allowed were a lead-off single to Mark Trumbo in the fifth and a two-out double to Maicer Izturis in the eighth. Wilson also struck out 8 and walked one.
The Angels sole run scored when center fielder Endy Chavez misplay a routine, two-out flyball in the second which allowed Howie Kendrick to score from second base. Kendrick had gotten on base after being hit by a Wilson breaking ball with one out. Kendrick advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Mike Trout’s misplayed flyball for the lone run of the game.
Scott Downs pitched a perfect 8th before giving way to rookie Jordan Walden in the ninth. Walden’s 23 save is the new rookie record for saves in a season, besting Ken Tatum’s 22 saves in 1969.
The Angels and Rangers have now split the season series with 3 wins apiece. The two clubs will face each other another 10 times, including three in Anaheim to end of the season.