Angels' Weaver beats Rangers in season debut 3-1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) It sounds as if a delayed start to the season for Jered Weaver was a wise call.
Weaver pitched six effective innings, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Sunday to earn a split of the four-game series.
''I was happy to get back out there. I pitched like I did the last 11 years,'' said Weaver, whose outing was held up because of nerve problems in his neck and shoulder. ''My arm slot is coming back. There's no tightness in my shoulder, no tightness in my back, no tightness in my hip, so I'm feeling healthy.
''It makes me look forward to my future in baseball, as opposed to maybe thinking about shutting it down. I can pitch like that for the rest of the season, but I know it's only going to get better.''
Mike Trout got his first two RBIs of the season and Albert Pujols singled home a run for Los Angeles, which bounced back after losing two in a row.
Weaver (1-0) allowed a run and six hits in his 139th career win - passing Nolan Ryan for second on the franchise list behind Chuck Finley's 165.
''I didn't come here for personal accolades. I came here to win championships. And today's win was a step toward getting to that goal,'' Weaver said. ''But with that being said, it's very humbling to be put in the same sentence as guys that have done great things for this organization.''
Weaver also improved to 11-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 18 career starts against the Rangers at Angel Stadium.
''It's kind of tough facing Jered. He's not what you see on an everyday basis for our hitters,'' Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ''He's been challenging for us in the past. It's almost like facing a knuckleballer at times. You know the velocity is not there, but he makes his pitches. We had limited opportunities today and didn't capitalize on them.''
The defending AL West champions put two men on base in three of the first four innings, helping run Weaver's pitch count up to 64. In the fourth, the three-time All-Star struck out Bryan Holaday with runners to second and third.
Fernando Salas and Joe Smith each pitched a scoreless inning before Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his first save.
Texas left-hander Martin Perez (0-1) was charged with three runs, seven hits and a career-worst five walks in 6 1-3 innings. Two of the hits were on line-drive singles off his body by Andrelton Simmons in the second and Yunel Escobar in the fifth.
Nomar Mazara, 20, made his major league debut for the Rangers, singling his first two times up and hitting a first-pitch homer to center field his next time at-bat in the fifth. He batted second in the order and started in right field for Shin-Soo Choo, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of a strained calf muscle.
Mazara became the eighth player in Rangers history to homer in his first big league game.
''I knew nothing really about him, except that he kind of had a long swing,'' Weaver said. ''He had a good approach today. It took me more than three at-bats to figure him out. He did a good job of keeping his hands back and dunked a couple in. The fastball in to him (on the home run) was not a bad pitch. He just did a good job of getting his hands inside of it and put a good swing on it.''
Rangers: Choo, whose injury occurred while he was running on the wet outfield grass after batting practice on Saturday, is expected to be out at least four to six weeks. ... C Robinson Chirinos was placed on the 60-day DL because of a broken right forearm, and is expected to be sidelined approximately 10 to 12 weeks.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (0-0) opposes Hisashi Iwakuma on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Seattle.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano makes his season debut Monday night against Sonny Gray in the opener of a three-game set at Oakland. Tropeano was recalled on Thursday from Triple-A Salt Lake after LHP Andrew Heaney went on the DL with a flexor muscle strain.