M’s Vargas outduels college teammate
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jesus Montero put a slight dent in Jered Weaver’s nifty numbers.
Montero homered twice off the major league ERA leader and Jason Vargas outpitched his former college teammate to send the Seattle Mariners past the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 Sunday.
“Weaver throws across his body and he makes good pitches, so it’s not easy to face him,” Montero said. “You just have to wait for the ball and think middle, middle all the time. That was my approach.”
This was the first time Weaver gave up two home runs in a game to the same player since Oct. 1, 2010, when the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland hit a pair of solo shots off him in Texas.
Weaver (15-2) had won nine straight outings before losing to his teammate from Long Beach State. Weaver fell one shy of Chuck Finley’s 1997 franchise record for consecutive starts won.
“I thought I threw the ball real well, but obviously a couple of mistakes cost me,” Weaver said.
Vargas (13-8) allowed a run and seven hits over 81/3 innings. The left-hander gave up a one-out triple in the ninth by Howie Kendrick before Tom Wilhelmsen came in and got the final two outs for his 16th save in 18 chances.
Weaver was 6-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 26 strikeouts in six starts during July, but Vargas beat him out for A.L. pitcher of the month honors with a 5-0 record, a 1.64 ERA and 26 strikeouts in his six starts.
Weaver and Vargas, both of whom were drafted in 2004, started against each other two other times in the majors – both last season. Vargas won the first matchup 3-0 at Seattle, and neither pitcher got a decision the second time around as the Angels won 1-0 in 10 innings.
“I’ve pitched pretty well in those games and so has he,” Vargas said.
Montero hit a solo homer in the second that landed barely beyond the fence and just over the glove of center fielder Mike Trout, who robbed Miguel Olivo of a homer in the Mariners’ 7-4 win Saturday night.
It was Seattle’s only hit until the sixth, when John Jaso singled with two out and Montero sent a drive into the lower seats in the left-field corner for his 12th home run.
Weaver was charged with three runs, four hits and three walks in seven innings and struck out five. It was only the second time in the right-hander’s last 13 outings that he gave up more than two earned runs. His ERA increased from 2.13 to 2.22.
Former Angel Chone Figgins, who singled as a pinch-hitter for Mike Carp in the sixth inning, drove in Seattle’s final run with a ninth-inning triple against Ernesto Frieri.
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