ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jered Weaver can be a bit sensitive on the subject of his diminished velocity. Over the past couple years, he’s made a habit of changing the subject to anything but his pitching once the radar gun comes up.
Tuesday night, the three-time All-Star had a good reason to go on a different direction in his postgame analysis.
Johnny Giavotella drove in three runs with his first homer of the season, Mike Trout and Carlos Perez had two-run singles against Edinson Volquez and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 9-4.
“The story of the night was the offense,” Weaver said. “They did a tremendous job battling against a guy that’s been throwing the ball real well. Johnny hit a homer at the right time and we were able to shut the door. It was fun to watch. The offense battled a lot harder than I did.”
Weaver (3-0) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings and struck out four. The Angels scored one more run than they totaled in the right-hander’s first three starts this season.
“The offense had had a great approach. They weren’t swinging at anything that was out of the zone,” Weaver said. “There were some walks and some knocks through the holes. Carlos gave us two runs to go ahead, and Gio’s home run was the icing on the cake.”
Volquez (3-1) gave up eight runs and 12 hits in in five innings. The right-hander, facing the Angels for the first time since 2007 with the Texas Rangers, was coming off a 4-0 win over Detroit in which he allowed five hits through seven innings.
“It was just a weird night for him,” manager Ned Yost said. “You don’t see 10 hits going into the fifth inning — and nine of them were on the ground.
“But that’s his goal. He wants ground balls. I thought Eddie commanded the ball really well, and his secondary stuff was good. They weren’t scorching the ball, but they just kept finding holes until that fifth inning.”
Volquez worked with the bases loaded in three different innings. The Angels grabbed an 8-4 lead in the fifth on Perez’s two-run single and Giavotella’s drive into the left-field bullpen.
“I imagine it took a bit of a toll on him tonight,” Yost said. “I mean, you don’t want to see your pitcher go through three of those type of situations in five innings, but Eddie usually kind of rises to the occasion in those situations, does a good job of limiting the damage.”
Opposing batters are hitting .204 with the bases loaded against Volquez during his 12-year career.
Mike Moustakas homered and Jarrod Dyson hit a pair of RBI doubles for the defending World Series champions, who had six two-base hits altogether — all against Weaver. The franchise record is 11, set on Aug. 11, 2003 against the Yankees.
Royals: Four-time Gold Glove LF Alex Gordon robbed Pujols of extra bases and an RBI with a diving catch in left-center to end the second. Gordon has played 174 consecutive errorless games. The franchise record for outfielders is 240, by David DeJesus. … Hosmer’s fifth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 16 games, equaling the longest of his career. … Dyson’s two doubles matched the total he had in his previous 71 regular-season at-bats. … The Royals are 11-1 when scoring more than three runs.
Angels: Next Monday is the fourth anniversary of Weaver’s no-hitter against Minnesota. He is 55-44 with a 3.68 ERA in 112 starts since then. … Ortega calmly caught Kendrys Morales‘ flyball in shallow LF in the second inning while 3B Yunel Escobar and SS Simmons collided right in front of him.
Royals: RHP Chris Young (1-3, 6.41 ERA) has made 210 starts in the majors with five different clubs and has only one complete game — on Sept. 7, 2008, when he pitched a two-hitter in San Diego’s 10-1 rout at Milwaukee.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano (1-0) will start against the Royals for the first time. He has allowed only two home runs in 75 1/3 innings in the big leagues, both of them two-out solo shots.