Hunter's homer caps eight-run second, lifts Angels over D-backs

PHOENIX -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia thinks his team might be more suited for interleague play than some other American League teams.

Los Angeles' record supports that belief.

Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer in an eight-run second and the Angels defeated the Arizona Diamonbacks 12-3 Friday night.

Jered Weaver beat the Diamondbacks for the first time as Los Angeles improved its major league-best record in interleague play to 12-4. The Angels are 127-102 since interleague play began in 1997.

"We've never been a typical American League team with one big DH in the middle of the lineup," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We haven't lost as much as some teams in a National League park. You still have to play good baseball. It's not like one league is from Venus and one is from Mars. We've just been able to play well at times without a DH in the lineup."

The Angels scored all eight runs in the second off Arizona right-hander Billy Buckner. Hunter's homer was his 17th, and it went to deep right-center field.

"They play the same style of baseball we play, and I think were kind of comfortable with that," Hunter said. "When I'm going good is when I'm driving the ball to right-center. That's when I feel my best."

Maicer Izturis doubled and tripled, driving in two runs and scoring two, and Bobby Abreu had two hits and two RBIs while helping the Angels (39-32) to a season high in runs. Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera also had two hits apiece.

The Angels, who have won three in a row and 10 of 13 games, stayed one-half game behind Texas in the AL West. The Rangers took two of three from Arizona in a just-completed series.

Weaver (8-3) won for the fifth time in six starts, giving up three runs on four hits in six innings. He is 12-4 with a 2.78 ERA in June in his four major league seasons.

"Weave wasn't as crisp tonight. It was good to get him some runs and give him a margin of error," Scioscia said.

Said Weaver: "The first three innings I kind of struggled with my mechanics. My front leg was swinging out on the delivery. It was getting loopy. I just had to make an adjustment. The last three innings it felt good."

Arizona (30-44) has lost six of seven and is 5-8 in interleague play.

Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew hit a two-run home run in the third inning, his fifth of the season. Tony Clark also connected in the fourth, his second homer in two days.

Clark has four homers, the first two coming in back-to-back at-bats on opening day. Clark was activated from the disabled list on June 19 after missing 44 days with a hand injury.

"You have to try to shake off the bad days," Clark said. "It's the little things we have to do. We have to pitch it, we have to hit it, and we have to catch it, especially against the good teams. They don't give you much of a margin for error."

Buckner (2-5) lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his shortest career start. He has given up 26 earned runs in his last 18 1/3 innings, and was optioned to Triple-A Reno after the game.

"The game got going pretty fast for him. It was a tough thing to recover from," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said.

Rivera singled with one out in the second and went to third on a hit-and-run by Morales. Willy Aybar beat out an infield to drive in the first run before Jeff Mathis doubled in another.

Weaver grounded into a fielder's choice at third, scoring Aybar. Chone Figgins then walked and Izturis tripled into the right-field corner. Abreu singled in a run, and Hunter's home run to right-center made it 8-0.capped the inning.

"We did a little of everything. We drove the ball. We worked counts. Ran the bases well. We pressured those guys a lot early. There was one good at-bat after another," Scioscia said. "That's where we need to be on the offensive side."

Game notes
Aybar beat out a single behind second base in the Angels' eight-run second, their AL-leading 77th infield hit. ... RHP Ervin Santana, on the DL with triceps stiffness, threw a bullpen session Friday. Scioscia said he will pitch in an Arizona Rookie League game on Sunday. ... Arizona is 15-26 at home this season, the most home losses in the majors, one more than Washington.