Jered Weaver blanks Rangers for 7 innings, Angels win 2-1 despite Kevin Millwood’s gem

4-05-08 -- Jered Weaver pitched seven scoreless innings, Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick had run-scoring hits and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Saturday night.

Weaver (1-1) allowed three hits, walked none and struck out six after losing at Minnesota in the first opening-day assignment of his career.

The right-hander, 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 teammate Joe Saunders, Jake Peavy, Brian Bannister, Tim Redding and Texas’ Kason Gabbard.

Weaver 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.

Kevin Millwood (0-2) allowed 12 hits over eight innings, going the distance for the 15th time in 317 career starts. He struck out seven and walked one. 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 on Aug. 29, 2006.

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 last April 13, at Seattle.

The defending AL West champion Angels snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth with Kendrick’s RBI single. A two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Erick Aybar loaded the bases for Chone Figgins, who was retired 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.

The Angels loaded the bases again in the fifth after Hunter’s RBI double increased the margin to 2-0. But Kendrick grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Texas center fielder Marlon Byrd made the defensive play of the game, charging Gary Matthews’ single and making a perfect throw on the fly to catcher Adam Melhuse to retire Erick Aybar for the third out in the sixth. Matthews had three hits.

Notes

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.


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