Weaver delivers, Perez HRs in Angels' 1-0 win over White Sox
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Joe Smith had to wait 3 1-2 agonizing minutes to learn whether his fancy footwork at first base had turned into a game-ending double play.
By the smallest of margins on the scoreboard and on the bag, the Los Angeles Angels did it again.
Jered Weaver pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning, and Carlos Perez homered in the Angels' third straight victory over the Chicago White Sox, 1-0 on Wednesday night.
After Weaver (5-9) shut down the White Sox early, the game ended when a call was reversed on a lengthy video review. Smith barely touched the bag while covering first and catching Erick Aybar's throw, doing it all just an instant ahead of pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche on a 3-6-1 double play.
LaRoche initially was called safe, which would have given the White Sox runners at the corners with two outs.
''My first goal was just to catch it so the other guy didn't score,'' said Smith, who earned his second save. ''I stepped. I thought I was going to land on the bag. I didn't, so I just took a shot in the dark and accidentally hit it, is pretty much what happened.''
The double play was the last in a string of solid defensive plays by the Angels. Weaver earned his first victory since May 30, striking out five without a walk in his third start back from a seven-week injury absence.
The Angels' longtime ace showed command and deception that made up for his pedestrian velocity, and he eventually left to a standing ovation.
''It just feels nice to be able to locate again,'' said Weaver, who hasn't allowed more than two earned runs since his return. ''It's fun to pitch in a game like that. It's one of those things where one error can hurt you, one bad pitch can hurt you. It's exciting.''
Perez delivered the game's only run with his third homer of the season in the sixth. The catcher hadn't homered since May 30.
Jeff Samardzija yielded eight hits over seven solid innings for the White Sox, who have lost five of six. Chicago was shut out for the first time since June 16.
Samardzija (8-9) was less effective than Weaver, but just as resourceful during his most encouraging start in a dismal August. He repeatedly escaped trouble - including a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the second - but lamented his poor pitch to Perez.
''It's going to be in your head for a while, but I'm more disappointed with falling behind him 2-0 than the result of the next pitch,'' Samardzija said. ''When you're in attack mode in a 0-0 game, you need to be ahead in the count.''
J.B. Shuck and Carlos Sanchez had two hits apiece for the White Sox.
Los Angeles stranded nine runners in the first five innings, including six in scoring position, continuing a season-long trend.
Mike Trout went 1 for 3 with a walk, improving his August batting average to .169. The reigning AL MVP ended just the third four-game hitless skid of his career with a first-inning single.
Albert Pujols got the day off for the Angels, who were swept in a three-game series in Chicago last week during a 1-6 road trip. Los Angeles has ended a 6-17 skid with three straight wins this week over the White Sox, staying right behind Houston in the AL West and moving back into playoff position in the wild card race.
The Angels had to use Smith, their eighth-inning specialist, in the ninth because closer Huston Street had pitched in the three previous games. Smith had pitched in three straight games, but thrown just 30 pitches. ''I'm tired,'' Smith said with a smile. ''I'm done. I'm down tomorrow. I probably won't be participating.''
Angels: Pujols got a rest day despite hitting three homers in his last four games. Manager Mike Scioscia wants to keep the slugger's legs fresh for September. He played in 115 of Los Angeles' first 119 games this season.
White Sox: Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.62 ERA) has never beaten the Angels in four career starts.
Angels: Nick Tropeano (1-1, 3.00 ERA) will come up from Triple-A to make his third start for Los Angeles. Reliever Mike Morin was optioned after the game to make room.