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LAA@BOS: Weaver strikes out six in first loss of 2011

BOSTON -- As with all good things, Jered Weaver's fling with perfection is over. It's the kind of treatment the Angels have grown accustomed to in this part of their world.

"There always seems to be a little something in Boston that doesn't seem to go my way -- or go the team's way," Weaver said in the aftermath of a 9-5 loss on Monday night at Fenway Park.

Before Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz landed the knockout blows two innings later, Boston buzzsaw Dustin Pedroia stretched the 6-foot-7 Weaver to the limits in the fifth and then pushed him over the ledge, sending the Angels' right-hander reeling to a loss after wins in his first six starts.

Pedroia's 13-pitch at-bat ended with a line-drive single to center field, driving in two runs and turning a deficit into a lead.

"That's what he does," Weaver said. "He's a great hitter. He didn't win the [American League] MVP a few years ago for nothing. He's a bulldog.

"I'm not going to change anything about how it went down. I made some good pitches 3-2, a couple of sliders and changeups. He's not going to give in. Sometimes you win these battles, sometimes you lose. I've won my share. It went his way tonight."

Pedroia sounded more relieved than ecstatic.

"To be honest with you, man, I was just trying to put the ball in play," Pedroia said. "Jered's tough, man. I faced him in college and the first few years in the big leagues and it doesn't get any better than him.

"I haven't won too many of those, but it was nice to drive in a couple and kind of get everything going."

Weaver is 2-5 with a 4.41 regular-season career ERA against Boston and 1-3, 7.16 at Fenway. He said he "felt great" in his recovery from a gastrointestinal virus over the weekend that pushed him back a day in the rotation.

Boston continued its stranglehold on the Angels, going to 5-0 this season. Since getting swept in the 2009 American League Division Series, the Sox are 14-1 against them.

"It's nothing to hang your head about," Weaver said, having yielded a season-high three earned runs across six innings. "We still have some games with them. We're going to go after them."

Gonzalez unloaded a three-run double and Ortiz launched a two-run homer off Francisco Rodriguez in the six-run seventh, with Kevin Youkilis also delivering an RBI double. Clay Buchholz moved to 2-3 with the win.

Weaver was on the verge of escaping what turned out to be a 38-pitch fifth. But Pedroia fouled off a series of two-strike pitches before lashing his single, scoring Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Weaver, visibly upset, had a word with home-plate umpire Scott Barry after the inning, thinking he'd had Jason Varitek struck out on a 2-2 pitch before walking him after Crawford's one-out double. Ellsbury hit into a force play for the second out.

"There was one pitch in particular that could have gotten me out of that inning," Weaver said. "It led to a big inning."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia made no issue of the call that didn't go Weaver's way.

"He wanted to know where the pitch was," Scioscia said of his ace's discussion with Barry. "That's just one pitch; it didn't decide the ballgame.

"They're a lineup that is patient. They will definitely make you work. Weav pitched well. I don't think there were things you can critique that were different than other games. It wasn't anything he did. He gave us a chance to win, for sure."

The Angels had a chance to draw even in the sixth when Torii Hunter led off with a double to center. But an aggressive play by Gonzalez at first on Alberto Callaspo's grounder cut down Hunter at third, and Buchholz escaped.

Even after the Boston eruption in the seventh, the Angels didn't go down quietly. Vernon Wells launched a two-run homer in the eighth against Dan Wheeler, and Maicer Izturis doubled home Jeff Mathis in the ninth against Hideki Okajima.

Weaver, who came in with an league-leading 0.99 ERA, watched his ERA climb to 1.39 -- second to teammate Dan Haren's 1.23 in the AL. Weaver's six strikeouts (against one walk) leave the reining Majors' whiff king atop the heap again with 55 in 51 2/3 innings.

The Red Sox, in their fashion, came out taking, working counts. Ellsbury singled leading off, stole second and scored on Youkilis' two-out single through the left side.

"I fell behind and got in deep counts the first two innings," said Weaver, who eclipsed 100 pitches during the Pedroia confrontation. "I felt great [physically]. Absolutely no problem."

With Weaver putting up zeros after the first, the Angels drew even in the third when Izturis doubled with two outs and scored on Bobby Abreu's single to right.

In the fifth, Erick Aybar singled leading off, and Jeff Mathis and Izturis drew walks. With one out, Abreu's hard grounder was on its way toward center field when it was deflected just enough by Buchholz for Pedroia to smother it at second and get a force, Aybar scoring. Buchholz prevented further damage by retiring Howard Kendrick on a groundout.

The Angels squandered an opportunity in the first. Izturis was out oversliding second base after a single to right center, even as a television replay indicated he'd made it back before the tag. Abreu and Kendrick followed with singles, but Hunter hit into a double play.

Buchholz yielded eight hits and two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out two. Daniel Bard got the final out in the seventh, turning it over to Wheeler and Okajima. Comments