Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon


MLB News

Weaver's struggles set tone as Angels fall to Yanks

Righty allows eight runs over first two innings, nine overall, in defeat

NEW YORK -- Jered Weaver was asked about the pitches to Alfonso Soriano, and the Angels' ace had an easy answer.

"They were home runs, over the fence," he said matter of factly. "One was a grand slam."

Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Jered Weaver was asked about the pitches to Alfonso Soriano, and the Angels' ace had an easy answer.

"They were home runs, over the fence," he said matter of factly. "One was a grand slam."

Full Game Coverage

The grand slam came in the first, a solo shot was added in the fifth and a two-run double was sprayed in the middle, giving New York's 37-year-old left fielder four homers and 13 RBIs over the last two games and leading the way in the Yankees' 11-3 drubbing of the Angels on Wednesday night.

"He's definitely swinging the bat well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said about Soriano. "He's had a good month these last two games."

Weaver had been really good over the course of an actual month, with a 1.72 ERA in nine starts dating back to the end of June. Then he arrived at Yankee Stadium -- a very unfriendly venue for flyball pitchers of Weaver's ilk -- and put his team in an 8-0 hole before recording his sixth out.

"Everything was pretty much flat, for the most part," Weaver said after giving up a career-high-tying nine runs in five innings, raising his ERA from 2.87 to 3.49 with one shoddy start. "Those guys came out swinging and were hitting balls hard all over the place. You're going to have some blowup games throughout the course of the season, and I had one tonight."

Weaver has always struggled at the new Yankee Stadium, now 1-2 with an 8.17 ERA in four career starts.

And for some reason, he's had a hard time finishing innings this season.

Opponents came in with a .328/.381/.516 slash line against Weaver with two outs in 2013. And on Wednesday, each of the Yankees' first eight runs -- four in each of the first two innings -- came in that scenario.

In the first, Robinson Cano hit a two-out single, Alex Rodriguez doubled, Curtis Granderson walked and Soriano took a down-the-middle, 88-mph fastball and smashed it over the center-field fence for the fifth grand slam Weaver has given up in his career. In the second, Cano and Granderson hit RBI singles and Soriano added a two-run double, basically ensuring the Yankees (62-57) their fourth straight win and their fifth victory in the last six games.

"It just goes back to not everything being effective," Weaver said of all the two-out runs. "I struggled with offspeed command there in the first inning, fell behind some hitters, and at the same time, they came out hacking early, too. It was one of those games where you don't have your best stuff and you try to go out there and battle, but they battled just a little bit more."

Weaver finally settled down after the second, retiring seven of his next eight hitters and finding a way to pitch into the fifth inning. But then Soriano struck again, lacing a line drive over the left-field fence to start the inning.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Soriano had hit a fifth-inning two-run homer off Jason Vargas, a sixth-inning RBI single off Michael Kohn and a seventh-inning three-run shot off Joe Blanton. The 13 RBIs set a career-high for consecutive games and made him the third player since 1920 -- when the RBI became an official stat -- to drive in at least six runs in two straight games, joining the Brewers' Geoff Jenkins in 2001 and the Rangers' Rusty Greer in 1997.

"It's not bad," said Soriano, who entered the series batting .204 in 14 games since joining the Yankees. "You don't see those days. I have to take those days, because it's not easy sometimes getting one RBI in one game. And I got 13 in two games. So I'm very excited, very happy."

Since Sunday in Cleveland, the Angels have only known misery.

With two outs in the fifth that afternoon at Progressive Field, Jerome Williams had faced only one over the minimum and the Angels held a five-run lead, setting themselves up for a three-game sweep. Then, almost instantly, the game unraveled. And ever since, the Angels haven't been able to regain their footing.

They've now lost 14 of their last 19 overall, 13 of their last 16 on the road and nine of their last 11 at Yankee Stadium. They're 53-66, putting them a season-high 13 games below .500. To avoid their first 90-loss season since 1999, the Angels must do better than 19-24 the rest of the way.

"It's pretty disappointing, especially after losing the last two here," Weaver said. "I wanted to come out here and have a good one, but it wasn't the case. Nothing I can do. I can't hang my head. Turn the page and concentrate on the next start."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.

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

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Jepsen, Mike Trout, Jered Weaver