Jered Weaver wasn't a bundle of jumbled emotions when he took the mound Sunday night, but the Angels' ace felt a little more amped than usual.
His wife, Kristin, and newborn son, Aden, were still at the hospital, awaiting his arrival after the game, and opposing Weaver for the Boston Red Sox was his good friend, former teammate and mentor John Lackey.
"There was a little more adrenaline," Weaver said. "I just wanted to funnel it and concentrate on getting people out, stay within myself, make pitches and get out of jams."
Weaver did all that and more, giving up five hits and striking out six in 62/3 innings to lead the Angels to a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox, their first home shutout of Boston since Aug. 5, 1999.
Mike Trout (first inning) and Hank Conger (fifth) hit home runs, and Erick Aybar tripled and scored on Mark Trumbo's sacrifice fly in the eighth, as the Angels (43-45) won for the 10th time in 12 games and moved to within two games of .500 for the first time since April 7, when they were 2-4.
They were 4-2 against two of the major leagues' best teams, St. Louis and Boston, and moved to within 51/2 games of Baltimore and Tampa Bay for the second wild-card spot.
"It was only a matter of time before all the talent in this room got it together and got something rolling," Weaver said. "Hopefully, we can stay hot."
Weaver (3-4) has certainly warmed. After struggling in his first three starts of June, he has given up two earned runs and 15 hits in 202/3 innings of his last three starts, striking out 17 batters and walking four, for an 0.87 earned-run average.
He pitched out of a first-and-third, no-out jam in the first inning, getting Dustin Pedroia to line out to third and striking out David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. After Ryan Lavarnway's one-out single in the third, Weaver did not give up a hit until the seventh.
When Brock Holt's single put two on with two outs in the seventh, Manager Mike Scioscia pulled Weaver, whose pitch count hit 114, for Dane De La Rosa, who got Jose Iglesias to fly out.
Scott Downs retired the side in order in the eighth and Ernesto Frieri struck out three of four batters, two on 97-mph fastballs, in the ninth for his 22nd save.
"I'm not gonna lie, in the back of my mind I was antsy to get back to the hospital to see my wife and little boy," said Weaver, who will award the game ball from Sunday to Aden. "It was kind of emotional. It will be fun to pick him up, cuddle with him and take him home tomorrow."
Scioscia said Weaver, whose fastball touched 92 mph, had his best stuff of the season, and Weaver needed it to beat Lackey, the former Angels ace who gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one.
"It was awesome," Weaver said of facing Lackey. "He did a lot of great things here for the Angels and a lot of great things for me. He took me under his wing, taught me the ropes, that competitiveness — he always wanted to take the ball. I owe him a lot for where I am today."
twitter.com/MikeDiGiovannaCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun