ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels should consider themselves fortunate not to have to face Paul Goldschmidt 19 times a season the way the Dodgers do. Having to contend with the major league’s leading hitter for four straight days is bad enough.
Jered Weaver gave up a three-run homer to Goldschmidt in the third inning and another to Yasmany Tomas in the sixth, sending the Angels to a 7-3 loss on Monday night.
“I think within the baseball community, there’s no doubt that when you’re talking about the elite players in this game, Paul Goldschmidt’s in the conversation for a variety of reasons,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
“It’s not only his power, but everything he does. He just brings a special dimension, and he’s a special talent. He’s one of the big reasons why those guys are holding their heads around .500. He’s carried a lot of the load, and he’s that type of player.”
Goldschmidt equaled the home run totals of Angels sluggers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols with his 18th of the season, a towering drive to center field after Weaver (4-7) gave up a leadoff walk to Wellington Castillo and a two-out walk to A.J. Pollock.
“I was just trying to get something up,” said Goldschmidt, who increased his average to .366 with three hits, and reached base safely for the 25th straight game. “Weaver can throw any pitch in any count. Fortunately, he threw me a curve ball and it stayed up. I was able to hit it hard and get it out of there.”
Goldschmidt, who leads the D-backs with 53 RBIs, was denied another one in the seventh when left fielder Daniel Robertson fielded his two-out single and threw out Cliff Pennington at the plate. Robertson was playing in his second game with the Angels, who acquired him from Texas last November.
Weaver was charged with five runs and eight hits in seven innings. The right-hander came in 16-5 with a 2.68 ERA in his 31 previous interleague starts, including a 12-3 win against the D-backs at Chase Field on June 26, 2009 - his only other outing against them.
Weaver has allowed 16 homers this season, seven in his last four starts.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “Maybe my stuff is a little flat. Maybe I’m going with too many off-speed pitches. I don’t know,” said Weaver. “It’s obviously frustrating. I’ve had too much success over the years to have something like this happen. I’ve just gotta find my way out of it and keep grinding.”
Weaver called trainer Rick Smith to the mound in the fourth inning to attend to a problem he was having with his thumb after giving up a one-out single by Jake Lamb, but was given the green light to continue.
The Angels sliced Arizona’s lead to 5-3 with three runs in the eighth. Kyle Kubitza scored on Addison Reed’s bases-loaded wild pitch to Trout, who doubled home two more against the right-hander before Pujols’ bid for a tying two-run homer to center field was caught on the warning track by Pollock.
The D-backs tacked on two runs in the ninth on Pennington’s suicide-squeeze bunt single and Pollock’s sacrifice fly. Reed, who came in the potential tying run on deck, was credited with his third save of the season after pitching 1 1-3 innings.
Ray (2-1) struck out three and walked two in his fourth start of the season, dropping his ERA to 1.09. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed only one batter to reach base through the first 5 2/3 innings. That was on a four-pitch walk in the fourth to Trout, who was quickly erased on an inning-ending double-play grounder by Pujols.
Ray retired his first two batters in the sixth on popups to first base before Robertson - the only player on the Angels’ roster who had ever faced him before - broke up the no-hit bid with a clean single to right-center field.
“We needed guys on base and we needed to get things going and that’s all I was focused on,” Robertson said. “It was a fastball away. I think he was just trying to go away maybe before he came in.”
It was the third time in four days that a member of the Diamondbacks’ rotation held an opponent hitless through the first five innings. Chase Anderson and Allen Webster did it during a three-game sweep in San Francisco.
Angels: 3B David Freese was limited to DH duty for the second straight game because of a hamstring issue. Manager Mike Scioscia said he would be back at third on Wednesday and Thursday nights, when the Angels play at Arizona and there is no DH.
Diamondbacks: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3) has failed to pitch seven full innings in any of his last 21 starts since Aug. 6, 2014. He is 3-0 in his last four outings despite a 4.84 ERA during that stretch.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (6-4) is coming off a 6-2 road victory against Tampa Bay in which he allowed two runs over seven innings and struck out seven.
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