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Weaver finding groove, notches another strong start

Righty follows previous shutout outing with stellar 7 1/3 innings vs. O's
MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- When Angels manager Mike Scioscia watched starter Jered Weaver on Friday night at Camden Yards, he didn't see quite the same level of stuff that the right-hander displayed in tossing a shutout against the Astros in his previous outing.

Still, Weaver continued to show improvement from his early-season struggles and rode sharp command to another strong outing. The veteran held the Orioles to one run over 7 1/3 innings, helping the Angels begin their 10-game road trip with a 3-1 victory.

Full Game Coverage

BALTIMORE -- When Angels manager Mike Scioscia watched starter Jered Weaver on Friday night at Camden Yards, he didn't see quite the same level of stuff that the right-hander displayed in tossing a shutout against the Astros in his previous outing.

Still, Weaver continued to show improvement from his early-season struggles and rode sharp command to another strong outing. The veteran held the Orioles to one run over 7 1/3 innings, helping the Angels begin their 10-game road trip with a 3-1 victory.

Full Game Coverage

"I don't know if his stuff was as crisp as last time, but definitely his command was there, he had enough fastball, and he did a great job against a team that's going to let you know if you're missing spots," Scioscia said. "He used his fastball well, used all his pitches."

Diminished velocity has been an issue for Weaver this season. Through his first six starts, he posted a 6.29 ERA while averaging about 84 mph with his fastball, but he threw more than half of his heaters at 86 or 87 mph in blanking Houston last Friday.

This time, Weaver was back sitting at mostly 83-85 mph, but overall, he called the start "comparable" to his last one.

"I think mechanically I was little better last time," he said. "I didn't start figuring stuff out mechanically until the fourth or fifth, but I was able to keep those guys off the bases for the most part and was able to get some outs."

Through seven scoreless innings, which extended his streak to 16, Weaver had allowed only four baserunners, and no more than one in any frame. He issued one walk, committed a throwing error and allowed two singles.

But each time Weaver put a man on, he was able to bear down and escape. In the seventh, after Adam Jones' leadoff bunt single, slugger Chris Davis stepped to the plate as the potential tying run. Weaver had whiffed Davis on a 65-mph curve in the second, then saw him line out sharply to right on an 84-mph fastball in the fourth. In their third meeting, Weaver threw a changeup for ball one, then went back to a 67-mph curve that Davis rolled over to second base for a crucial double play.

Video: LAA@BAL: Giavotella starts a 4-6-3 double play in 7th

Weaver began the eighth by surrendering a homer to J.J. Hardy, then got one more out before giving way to the bullpen. He threw only 83 pitches in an efficient outing, which saw his ERA drop to 4.44.

Video: LAA@BAL: Hardy cuts deficit to one with a solo homer

"Obviously it's going to help your confidence out there," Weaver said. "Getting deep in games is always what you're trying to do, so it was nice to get out there for the eighth. Obviously, a bad pitch to Hardy there to get them on the board, but other than that, it was definitely a confidence builder."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Angels, Jered Weaver