Q it Up Sports
9:00 PM AKDT, July 16, 2010
Jered Weaver outpitched Felix Hernandez
for the third time this season in a matchup of the AL's strikeout
leaders and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on
Weaver (9-5) allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings and had five strikeouts, increasing his major league-leading total to 142. The right-hander is trying to become the first Angels pitcher to lead the majors in strikeouts since 1977, when all-time strikeout king Nolan Ryan had 341.
Weaver did not issue a walk against an offense that has scored fewer runs than any team in the majors except Pittsburgh. He has allowed only two earned runs against them in 21 1-3 innings this season, and is 10-3 with a 4.12 ERA lifetime.
The Mariners, who held a hitters-only meeting in the clubhouse before batting practice to discuss their situational approach, were shut out until the seventh. Franklin Gutierrez led off with a single and newly acquired Justin Smoak homered on a 1-2 pitch to cut the Angels lead to 3-2.
It was Smoak's ninth home run this season, and the rookie's first RBIs since joining Seattle in a multiplayer trade that sent 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers on July 9. Smoak entered the game 0 for 23 lifetime against the Angels before singling his first time up.
Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Brian Fuentes got three outs for his 17th save.
The Mariners have lost 11 of their last 13 games following a 9-3 stretch and are a season-worst 17 games out of first place. Ichiro Suzuki did not get a ball out of the infield in four at-bats, ending his 14-game hitting streak.
Hernandez (7-6) allowed 10 hits and no walks over eight innings while striking out only three to raise his total to 134. The right-hander, who pitched in his first All-Star game last year and finished second in last year's AL Cy Young voting behind Kansas City's Zack Greinke, went the distance for the fifth time in 2010 and fourth time in his last six starts.
Weaver and Hernandez last hooked up on May 29 at Angel Stadium, when Weaver held Seattle to three hits and an unearned run over seven innings and Hernandez took a five-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the eighth before giving up Bobby Abreu's tying home run.
Neither got a decision that day as the Angels won 5-1 on a walkoff home run in the 10th inning by Kendry Morales, who broke a bone above his left ankle jumping on home plate in the ensuing celebration with his teammates and was lost for the rest of the season.
The other time the Angels faced Hernandez this year, he lasted just 3 1-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season and gave up three home runs in an 8-0 loss to Weaver on May 7 at Seattle.
Neither Hernandez nor Weaver appeared in Tuesday's All-Star game at Angel Stadium. AL manager Joe Girardi wanted to add Hernandez to his roster, but felt he would be a wasted pick because he threw 126 pitches last Saturday in a complete-game win over his Yankees. Weaver received his first All-Star invite because of an injury to Oakland's Trevor Cahill, but wasn't eligible to pitch because he started last Sunday - something Girardi didn't realize until after he had committed to naming Weaver to the team.
The Angels made it 3-0 in the third inning. Erick Aybar scored on Bobby Abreu's single after getting hit by an 0-2 pitch to lead off the inning, and Howie Kendrick came home on a double-play grounder by Torii Hunter.
NOTES: Hernandez is the first Mariner with more than four complete games since 1997, when Jeff Fassero had seven and Randy Johnson six. The last Seattle right-hander with more than four was Erik Hanson, who went the distance seven times in 1993. ... Weaver has an AL-best 1.54 home ERA in nine starts, compared to a 4.37 mark in 11 starts on the road. ... Mariners starters have gone at least eight innings a major league-best 22 times, including 10 complete games.