ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Five innings on a muggy afternoon were enough this time for Jered Weaver.
Weaver won his seventh straight start to tie a career best and Torii Hunter, Mike Trout and Bobby Wilson homered for the Los Angeles Angels in an 11-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
“Anytime your team gives you eight runs to work with, the last thing you want to do is go out there and throw only five innings,” Weaver said. “It was a rough one. But we came out on top, which was the most important thing.”
The Angels won minus slugger Albert Pujols, who was out because of a bruised right elbow.
Weaver (13-1) threw 101 pitches, allowing two runs and three hits. His AL-leading ERA rose from 2.20 to 2.27 because of Billy Butler’s two-run homer in the fifth.
“If you can get two runs off of Weaver and get him out after the fifth inning, you’ve done a real good job. We did both of those things, but the score was lopsided by then,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do with Weaver. He’s a guy who’s got great command, never gives in, throws the ball off the corners trying to get you to swing at it, but we did a good job of taking those pitches,” he said.
Weaver’s only loss was at Texas on May 13, when he pitched 3 1-3 innings and gave up eight runs. The All-Star right-hander is 16-2 with a 1.53 ERA in 24 starts at Angel Stadium since the beginning of last season and has yielded only six earned runs over 58 2-3 innings at home this year.
Los Angeles staked Weaver to an 8-0 lead before Butler hit his 20th homer. Jeff Francoeur added a three-run shot in the eighth against Scott Downs to snap an 0 for 15 drought and slice the Angels’ lead to 8-5.
But Trout and Hunter homered back-to-back in the bottom half against Luis Coleman. Trout’s homer was his 16th, Hunter’s his 11th.
Hunter had four hits and drove in three runs.
Weaver, who had hit only one batter in 110 2-3 innings this season coming into the game, plunked Lorenzo Cain his first two times up. Cain, who homered Tuesday night in Kansas City’s 4-1 win, hadn’t been hit in his previous 217 plate appearances since Aug. 12, 2010, when he was with Milwaukee.
“I’m not one to go out there and hit people, obviously,” Weaver said. “I think I hit one or two guys a year. The command was just not there today. I don’t know what my first-pitch strike (ratio) was, but I know it wasn’t very good.”
“It was just one of those days where I couldn’t find the release point and was a little erratic,” he said.
Royals starter Luke Hochevar (6-9) was ejected in the fourth inning by plate umpire Bob Davidson after hitting Trout — immediately after Wilson’s leadoff homer gave the Angels an 8-0 lead.
“He thought I hit Trout because I gave up the home run, but I’m not that type of player. And I’m not going to just start drilling guys out of frustration,” Hochevar said. “I don’t do that. I’m pitching the guy in, and one gets away and hits him. But he made his call, and it is what it is.”
Hochevar was charged with eight runs — six earned — and nine hits in his three-plus innings, along with two wild pitches. He was 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA over his previous six starts.
“It was just poor execution. My breaking stuff was up and hanging, and they put some good swings on it,” Hochevar said. “My whole focus is executing quality pitches. And when you don’t execute, this is what happens. I’ve just got to make better pitches. That’s the bottom line.”
Hochevar gave up singles to his first three batters, all of whom scored. Trout, whose franchise-record run-scoring streak ended at 15 games on Tuesday, came home on a wild pitch to Mark Trumbo. Hunter scored on a groundout by Kendrys Morales, and former Royal Alberto Callaspo delivered Trumbo with the first of his two doubles.
The Angels parlayed two Kansas City errors into three more runs in the second inning despite getting only one ball out of the infield.
“We don’t play sloppy very often, but we did today in the first two innings. That’s for sure,” Yost said. “It was a day where Hoch didn’t have his good stuff, and they were on him the whole time. Over the course of 162 games, you’re bound to have a few of these. At least we rebounded after the second inning and played pretty decent baseball from that point on.”