Less than two weeks after sharing a dugout and clubhouse at the All-Star Game, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson were all business in a riveting duel between aces.
Weaver scattered seven hits in seven-plus innings and struck out six to win his seventh straight decision, helping the Los Angeles Angels grind out a 1-0 victory over the Texas Rangers yesterday in Anaheim, Calif., and move within three games of the AL West leaders. It took a rare error by Endy Chavez to help decide things.
“You knew it was going to be a battle because C.J. is having a great year and he’s turned himself into a great pitcher,’’ Weaver said. “It’s been fun going out there and battling. It’s been going good so far, and hopefully we can keep it rolling and limit those runs.’’
Rookie Mike Trout’s routine fly ball hit off the glove of Chavez in right-center for the error in the second that allowed Howie Kendrick to score from second base with two outs. Kendrick was hit by a pitch in the foot and stole second.
Weaver (13-4) reduced his major league-best ERA to 1.81. The Angels won the rubber game of the three-game set a day after rallying from a five-run deficit to end the Rangers’ 12-game winning streak.
The righthander’s biggest out by far was in the sixth, when Weaver struck out Mitch Moreland on an elevated 2-and-2 fastball with the bases loaded. He punched the air after walking off the mound.
“He commands all of his pitches and throws them in any count, any time, so you had to be ready for anything,’’ Moreland said. “When you’re going up against a guy like that, you’ve just got to grind it out. He worked both sides of the plate, threw a good changeup and spotted his heater, which made the changeup more effective. He was throwing his breaking balls for strikes, too.’’
The lefthanded Wilson (10-4) held the Angels to two hits over eight innings, struck out eight, and walked one.
Braves 9, Rockies 6 - Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman each homered and had two hits, and Atlanta overcame a shaky start by Tommy Hanson to split a four-game series with host Colorado.
Brooks Conrad also homered and Nate McLouth had two hits for Atlanta. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 30th save.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin allowed five runs on four hits and walked seven in 4 2/3 innings. Hanson (11-5) allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out seven in six innings.
Padres 5, Marlins 3 - Dustin Moseley and three relievers held host Florida without an earned run, and San Diego completed a three-game sweep.
Cameron Maybin had four hits and scored twice for the Padres. Maybin went 9 for 14 with five runs and three RBIs in the series against his former team.
Moseley (3-9) went six innings and allowed three unearned runs. He stayed in the game after a 2 1/2-hour rain delay in the second inning.
Cardinals 6, Mets 2 - Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first and Jake Westbrook had host New York pounding the ball into the ground over eight excellent innings to help St. Louis avoid a three-game sweep.
Westbrook (8-4) worked efficiently (90 pitches) and rapidly, and kept his infielders busy.
He recorded 17 outs on ground balls, including two double plays, and allowed only four hits. He walked one and struck out three, leading the Cardinals to only their second win since the All-Star break.
Blue Jays 7, Mariners 5 - Rajai Davis hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and host Toronto handed Seattle its 12th straight loss.
Miguel Olivo erased a 5-1 deficit by hitting Seattle’s first grand slam of the season in the top of the eighth, but the Mariners couldn’t add on.
Tigers 6, Twins 2 - Justin Verlander threw eight dominant innings, Jhonny Peralta drove in three runs with three hits, and visiting Detroit won its 10th straight over Minnesota.
Verlander (13-5) gave up five hits and one run without a walk, striking out nine.
Diamondbacks 4, Brewers 0 - Ian Kennedy (11-3) gave up four hits over seven innings to earn his 11th victory and host Arizona got home runs from Justin Upton, Miguel Montero, and Kelly Johnson to split a four-game series with Milwaukee.