video thumbnail

LAA@TOR: Callaspo crushes a solo homer to left field

TORONTO -- Pitching has been the strength of the Angels this year, and Jered Weaver has been superb.

The right-hander carried sterling numbers into Saturday's start against the Blue Jays. The last time he faced Toronto, he struck out 15 over 7 2/3 innings of a 3-1 victory at Angel Stadium.

Things were different on Saturday before a crowd of 27,185 at Rogers Centre. Using a juggled lineup, the Blue Jays hammered three home runs against Weaver, including Adam Lind's grand slam in a five-run fifth, on their way to an 11-2 victory over the Angels.

"Obviously, he wasn't as crisp early in the game," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was location. He's been lights out all year, and this is one that it just wasn't there for him. He'll be ready for his next start."

The eight earned runs allowed by Weaver (14-6) in 4 2/3 innings equaled a career high he has matched two previous times. He had allowed three home runs in his previous 80 innings but was throwing on considerable rest, having last pitched on Aug. 5 because of a six-game suspension.

"The command wasn't there, everything was kind of flat, nothing was really sharp," Weaver said. "Usually I have a pitch I can go to to get me out of situations and I really didn't have that today. It's going to happen two or three times a year."

Meanwhile, Toronto starter Ricky Romero (11-9) overcame a shaky first to pitch a solid game, holding the Angels to two hits and one run over seven innings. Alberto Callaspo homered in the fifth for the only run against the left-hander.

"He's got the kind of stuff that he deserves to be an ace on any staff," former Blue Jay Vernon Wells said of Romero. "His fastball, his four-seam, cutter, he kept it in on all right-handed hitters. He put it where he wanted to outside of a couple of at-bats. His changeup acts like a [split-fingered fastball] at times."

Weaver was suspended for his actions in a game against the Detroit Tigers on July 31. He appealed the suspension, then dropped the appeal after facing the Mariners in his most recent start.

"A little rusty," Weaver said. "You run into a team like that, and the slider's backing up, and the curveball isn't doing much, and the fastball is up, that stuff is going to happen. You're going to have days like that.

"Obviously, it looks a little worse because I've had eight days in between. But those guys can do some damage if you're up, and the stuff's hanging. When you've got some righties in there with some power, and the slider is not quite there, you're going to give up some hits. That's what happened today. ... It's just one of those days. It took [25] starts for it to happen, and it happened."

Weaver fell behind in the first inning on Edwin Encarnacion's two-run homer. Encarnacion was batting third in the order, in place of Jose Bautista, who was rested. It was Encarnacion's 11th homer of the season and followed a leadoff single by Yunel Escobar and a sacrifice bunt by Eric Thames.

The Blue Jays added a run in the second inning, with two other players who were not regulars. Center fielder Rajai Davis and second baseman John McDonald hit successive two-out doubles to make the score 3-0.

Callaspo hit his fifth homer of the season to lead off the fifth for the first Angels' hit off Romero. Howard Kendrick had an infield hit immediately after Callaspo's blast, but that was all the Angels could do against Romero.

Their previous baserunners had come on two walks in the first that preceded a double play and a disputed hit batsman in the third. Catcher Jeff Mathis was hit on the left hand but stayed in the game; he had his left hand X-rayed after the game, with the results coming back negative for damage more serious than a contusion.

"He's got a pretty good knot, it got him pretty flush," Scioscia said. "It was sore, but in examining, they didn't think it was anything other than some soft-tissue [injury], but he was just going to have a precautionary X-ray to make sure."

Weaver loaded the bases in the fifth on Escobar's one-out double and two walks. Lind hit his second grand slam of the season -- and the third of his career -- on the first pitch. It was his 20th homer of the season and the 100th of his career.

"I just got a pitch over the middle of the plate and finally hit it," Lind said. "He has been, I think we all know, one of the best pitchers in the big leagues this season. He got us in Anaheim, but that's how it goes. We got him today."

Weaver said he tried to compensate for the extra time between starts by throwing more pitches in his bullpen sessions.

"But when you're not out there in a game situation, it's a little tough to get a feel for it," he said. "No excuses, you've got to go out there and battle even though you don't have your best stuff."

Right fielder Mark Teahen, making his first start since he was obtained a trade from the White Sox, followed Lind's slam with his first homer for Toronto, and fourth of the season, to end Weaver's outing.

Lind also hit a sacrifice fly against Joel Pineiro in the three-run sixth for his fifth RBI of the game. One of the runs was unearned.

The Angels scored a run in the ninth against Luis Perez on Torii Hunter's triple, which was followed by Mark Trumbo's sacrifice fly. Comments