ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The way Jered Weaver was pitching, Kevin Millwood was doomed for another frustrating night in terms of run support.
Weaver scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Saturday night. The right-hander walked none and struck out six after losing at Minnesota in the first Opening Day assignment of his career, but he couldn't figure out why he was so successful.
Weav-ing Good Results
Anaheim needs Jered Weaver to return to the form of his rookie year after a disappointing sophomore season. His numbers through two starts indicate he's doing just that.
"Everything really wasn't that sharp," Weaver said. "It might be a little dead arm situation or what not. I don't really know what that is."I went up to Butcher [pitching coach Mike Butcher] after the first inning and said, `It might be a long one. I don't really have my best stuff. I don't really know where the ball is going.' Then he said, `Hey, just go out there and act like you've got your best stuff and don't let them think that you don't have your A-game.' "Weaver, bumped up in the rotation because of injuries to John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, became the sixth pitcher during the first week of the season to throw seven or more innings of shutout ball in a game -- joining Jake Peavy, Brian Bannister, Tim Redding and Texas' Kason Gabbard and teammate Joe Saunders."That's the Jered Weaver everybody knows," Rangers center fielder Marlon Byrd said. "He can be the ace of a staff. But when he gives you strikes to hit, you've got to try to put good wood on it."Weaver (1-1) threw 93 pitches. Darren Oliver relieved and gave up a leadoff homer in the eighth to David Murphy. Francisco Rodriguez followed Justin Speier out of the bullpen and got three outs for his third save.Millwood (0-2) allowed 12 hits over eight innings, threw 106 pitches and went the distance for the 15th time in 317 career starts. He struck out seven and walked one. The only runs he allowed were an RBI single in the fourth by Howie Kendrick and an RBI double in the fifth by Torii Hunter."I pitched what I'd call a pretty good bad game. I mean, I gave up a ton of hits and it took me until the eighth inning to have a 1-2-3 inning," Millwood said. "I was able to make some pitches when I needed to, but wasn't able to make enough of them. The good thing is that I didn't walk as many guys as I did the last time. All in all it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't exactly what you'd like, either."The Rangers had played an AL-record 195 consecutive regular-season games without a complete-game effort by their staff since Aug. 29, 2006, when Millwood allowed eight hits in a 9-4 win against Baltimore.The drought was the third-longest in major league history. The Atlanta Braves went 196 games without a complete game, a streak broken last September. Currently, the Washington Nationals have gone to the bullpen in 211 consecutive games since Pedro Astacio beat Atlanta 5-0 with a two-hitter (89 pitches) on Aug. 15, 2006."You hear about it all the time. But in today's game, a complete game isn't what it used to be. So you don't worry about it," Millwood said.Texas has totaled just nine runs in Millwood's last seven regular-season starts. He is 0-9 with a 4.02 ERA in his last 11 road starts since beating Cincinnati in an interleague game on June 17, 2007, and has received only 13 runs of support during that stretch. Millwood hasn't won on the road in an AL park since April 13, 2007 at Seattle.Millwood escaped bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth after giving up the runs. In the fourth, he retired Chone Figgins on a fielder's choice grounder to short. The switch-hitting Figgins was 0-for-4 against Millwood, and is hitless in 21 career at-bats against him.Byrd made the defensive play of the game, when he charged Gary Matthews Jr.'s single and made a perfect throw on the fly to catcher Adam Melhuse who tagged Erick Aybar for the third out in the sixth.
Angels RF Vladimir Guerrero received his 2007 Silver Slugger award at home plate before the game. It's the seventh of his career and fourth in a row. ... In his season debut last Monday, Millwood allowed a pair of unearned runs over six innings in a 5-2 loss at Seattle. ... The Angels activated setup man Scot Shields from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Rich Thompson to Triple-A Salt Lake.