- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Houston Astros happened to be the unlucky team in the batter’s box when Jered Weaver shook off his miserable season with a magnificent start.

Weaver pitched a six-hitter for his first win of the season, and the Astros never got to second base in their 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

Weaver (1-4) didn’t walk a batter and retired 19 of his last 21, receiving a standing ovation after completing his first shutout since Aug. 6, 2012. Houston managed five singles in the first three innings, but just two baserunners after that.

“(Weaver) was throwing a little harder, and he did a good job of keeping us off-balance,” outfielder Colby Rasmus said. “The balls that we did hit didn’t find no love. He had his lucky rabbit foot in his back pocket. Roberto gave us a good chance to win, but we weren’t able to capitalize on it.”

Former Astros prospect Carlos Perez had an RBI single and C.J. Cron drove in the first run during Los Angeles’ two-run fifth inning, and that made the difference between Weaver and Roberto Hernandez, who pitched splendidly again.

Hernandez (1-3) yielded only six hits while pitching into the eighth inning for the Astros, who have lost four of five.

“They created their own inning to score themselves,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “Otherwise, we’re talking about how well Roberto threw. Roberto threw the ball really well, made pitches and kept us in the game. He did his job.”

Weaver pitched the first month of the season with an alarming lack of velocity to go with his winless record. The Angels’ longtime ace was struggling to get his fastball into the mid-80s.

Everything changed on a chilly night at the Big A. Weaver’s fastball hit 89 mph in the second inning, and he mixed in his usual sharp off-speed pitches to flummox the Astros after allowing five singles in the first three innings.

“I was happy to get people out,” Weaver said. “I don’t care about velocity.”

Houston’s only late hit was Jose Altuve’s third single in the eighth. Weaver finished in style, retiring the heart of Houston’s order in the ninth.

“Weaver did a good job of really never giving in and never throwing the same pitch at the same speed for nine innings,” Hinch said. “We didn’t really have a counterpunch for him.”

The second-place Angels have an opportunity in the four-game series to make up ground on the Astros, who streaked out to an outstanding April. Los Angeles had a two-run lead in the ninth inning of the series opener Thursday, but closer Huston Street gave up three runs and lost.


Altuve reached on a bunt single on Weaver’s first pitch, but was thrown out by Perez attempting to steal second. He singled again in the third, but was picked off by Weaver.


Weaver was hit in the chest with a water bottle during his postgame television interview on the field, presumably by a teammate. The Angels have developed a team tradition of dumping ice buckets on each other during every postgame interview, but the bottle was a weird twist that didn’t seem to please Weaver. “Baseball questions,” he said curtly when asked about the bottle.


Angels: Los Angeles recalled RHP Ryan Mattheus from Triple-A Salt Lake after top relievers Street and Joe Smith were made unavailable by pitching in each of the past three games.


Astros: Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.80) looks to continue his spectacular season with his sixth consecutive decision victory.

Angels: Matt Shoemaker (2-2, 5.40) got tagged with a loss Monday despite striking out 10 and pitching into the eighth inning.

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