SAN DIEGO -- San Diego fans got to see up close what the Padres could have had if they'd have taken Jered Weaver instead of Matt Bush with the No. 1 pick overall in the 2004 draft.
Weaver and two relievers combined on a three-hitter, Mike Trout had an RBI triple among his three hits and the Los Angeles Angels beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 in their first regular-season visit to Petco Park.Making his third start since throwing his first career no-hitter, Weaver (6-1) held San Diego two runs in seven innings while allowing a homer and two singles. He struck out four and walked three.Weaver was among the big-name players the Padres passed over in favor of local high school shortstop Bush in 2004. Bush was a bust after off-field trouble and elbow surgery derailed his career.
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"It didn't happen, and I'm glad to be an Angel," said Weaver, who also walked, singled and scored a run.The lanky right-hander pitched for Long Beach State in a college tournament at Petco Park in 2004."It was fun. It was the first time I've done it since we opened up this place when I was in college and was able to throw against UCLA here," he said. "We weren't able to get in the clubhouse or anything, but it was fun to play in a big league park and be able to be one of the first teams to play in here."It's a great park except for the bullpen they forgot to put out there in right field," Weaver said, referring to the vast dimensions. "It's a good place to play and obviously a pitcher's park. It's great, being here in the heart of downtown and knowing you're close to the water. Obviously, I'm a beach bum."Weaver is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two career starts against the Padres. He got his first career shutout against the Padres at Anaheim on June 14, 2009.The right-hander improved to 11-3 with a 2.74 ERA in 19 interleague starts, and is 6-0 in his past nine starts against NL teams."Weaver held us at bay," said Padres manager Bud Black, who was the Angels' pitching coach from 2000-06. "We couldn't break through against Weaver with his assortment of pitches. We couldn't get the big knock. We got the back-to-back walks, but couldn't really get it going. We just couldn't get that big hit to get it closer."Albert Pujols singled, walked and scored twice in his first game in an NL ballpark since leaving St. Louis and signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels on Dec. 10.Scott Downs pitched a perfect eighth and former Padres pitcher Ernesto Frieri allowed a walk in the ninth.While the Padres have struggled in spacious Petco Park, the Angels seemed to settle right in. After being shut out a big league-high eight times and scoring two or fewer runs 14 times in their first 39 games, they had seven runs on 11 hits.Weaver reached twice against Jeff Suppan (2-2), drawing a two-out walk in the second and hitting a single in the fifth to start a three-run inning. After Weaver singled, Trout tripled into the left-field corner. Pujols walked with one out and Mark Trumbo doubled to bring in Trout. Pujols scored on Vernon Wells' groundout."I don't know what happened. I just closed my eyes," Weaver said about his single. "It's fun to be able to do some things you don't get to do normally. It feels pretty good to get a knock. I'm still mad at Trout for making me run from first to home. I was definitely gassed after that."The Angels added three runs in the ninth off Brad Brach. Howie Kendrick had an RBI single and Erick Aybar a two-run double.Will Venable homered off Weaver leading off the sixth, his second.Weaver walked the first two batters in the seventh but allowed only one run, on Alexi Amarista's grounder.The Angels scored their first run on a double play in the second.Suppan allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, walked five and struck out none.
Since 2007, the Angels' 63-28 interleague record is the best in baseball. ... San Diego's 103-137 interleague record is the second-worst in history. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols has told him he can play third base, if needed, and has taken grounders there. "It's a long way off. Not this series, obviously," Scioscia said. "You always want to understand the versatility your team has and see if you can tap into it. Short-term, I don't think a game or two would be a problem. It's not something we'd want to take an extended look at, but we'll see." Pujols has played 103 career games at third base since he came up with St. Louis in 2001, including seven last year, his final season with the Cardinals. ... The Angels hadn't played a regular-season game in San Diego since 2000, at Qualcomm Stadium. ... The three-game series continues Saturday night, with Dan Haren (1-4, 4.41 ERA) scheduled to start for the Angels against LHP Eric Stults, acquired by the Padres off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Stults will start in place of RHP Tim Stauffer, who went on the disabled list Friday with a sprained right elbow.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 18: Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels talks to players during batting...