OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jered Weaver needed a few pitches to get his mind back into the swing of things. It had been nine days since he started -- except for the All-Star Game, that is.
In the majors' first scheduled doubleheader in eight years, Weaver won his sixth straight decision and the Los Angeles Angels opened by beating the Oakland Athletics 4-2 Saturday."I felt weird in the first inning," Weaver said. "It felt like I had a month off and needed to knock the cobwebs out."
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This was the first planned doubleheader in the big leagues since Aug. 2, 2003, when San Diego played at Philadelphia. Since then, twinbills have been part of makeup games.This was Oakland's first scheduled doubleheader at home since Aug. 10, 1997, against Milwaukee.Erick Aybar homered and Bobby Abreu drove in two runs as the Angels won for the ninth time in 11 games.Weaver (12-4), the AL starter in Tuesday night's All-Star Game, did not give up a hit until the fifth inning. He allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings."After a few days off I needed to get a feel for the speed of the game again," Weaver said. "My fastball location was real good and I got into a good groove. The bullpen came in and did a heck of a job."Weaver issued a leadoff walk in the first and then retired 13 straight batters. He struck out three and walked two."He was very good," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's really unpredictable and kept us off balance."Scott Downs got four outs and All-Star rookie Jordan Walden pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 27 chances.Kurt Suzuki and Jemile Weeks each had three hits for the A's, who have lost five of six.Trevor Cahill (8-8) lasted seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked five and struck out eight."Not being around the field for a while, it was kind of an awkward feeling," Cahill said. "It took a while to get back into things. Maybe that's why I was so erratic in the first inning."The umpires reviewed a long drive by Hideki Matsui in the A's eighth and determined it was a double as originally called. He needs one homer to become the 34th player (U.S. and Japan combined) to reach 500. He has 332 in Japan and 167 in the U.S.Weaver escaped trouble in the fifth when left fielder Vernon Wells threw to Aybar, and the shortstop made a relay home that caught David DeJesus trying to score."Vern got the ball in quick and Erick has a great arm," Weaver said. "I was thankful the third base coach sent him because I thought we had a great chance to get him."The A's chased Weaver in the seventh. DeJesus doubled, Conor Jackson singled and Suzuki had a sacrifice fly. Cliff Pennington and Weeks followed with singles, ending Weaver's afternoon.Downs got Crisp to ground out, ending the threat.Aybar singled in the first, then raced around to third on Torii Hunter's groundout. Abreu singled against a drawn-in infield to put the Angels ahead.Wells singled and Alberto Callaspo doubled to open the sixth. Wells scored on Howie Kendrick's groundout before Callaspo was caught in a rundown.Aybar hit his seventh homer of the season, a solo shot in the seventh."He's an aggressive player," Weaver said of Aybar. "He uses his speed to his advantage. He made a great read to get to third there and he's comfortable at the plate."Cahill lost to the Angels at home for the first time in five starts despite receiving run support for the first time in four starts.Abreu added an RBI single in the ninth after Pennington's error at shortstop extended the inning.
A's RHP Guillermo Moscoso was announced as Tuesday's starter in Detroit. The A's will make a corresponding move before that game. ... Weaver's major league-leading 1.86 ERA entering play was the lowest after 19 starts in Angels' history. ...Angels RHP Fernando Rodney (upper back strain) was scheduled to start a minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Inland Empire in nearby San Jose on Saturday. ... Walden needs one save to match the Angels rookie record established by Ken Tatum in 1969. ... The A's have been swept in each of their past four doubleheaders. ... The A's and Angels lasted played a doubleheader on July 30, 1983.