TORONTO (AP) — With his command failing him in a tight situation, Jered Weaver put his pride aside and did something he’s never done before: He asked to be taken out of the game.
Weaver won his fourth straight decision, Hank Conger hit a three-run home run and had a career-high five RBIs, and the Los Angeles Angels beat Toronto 9-3 Sunday for their seventh straight win over the Blue Jays.
Weaver (4-2) improved to 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his past four starts. He allowed one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings, walked two and struck out five.
“I thought he mixed and matched,” said manager Mike Scioscia, who returned after missing two games to attend his daughter’s college graduation. “He definitely went through a tough lineup. His ability to locate and change speeds got him through most of the game.”
When Weaver’s ability to locate started to fade, the right-hander stunned Conger by telling pitching coach Mike Butcher that it was time to turn to the bullpen.
Butcher came to the mound after Weaver walked Juan Francisco to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Scioscia and Butcher both felt comfortable letting Weaver face Colby Rasmus, but Weaver had other ideas.
“I just couldn’t get over the hump there in the seventh,” Weaver said. “I didn’t have any command of the fastball.”
After a lengthy chat, Weaver told Butcher that reliever Michael Kohn should face Rasmus instead. Weaver said it’s the first time he’s ever asked to come out of a game
“First time for everything,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to push the ego aside a little bit and realize that guy coming in might have a little better stuff than you’ve got.”
Kohn came on and got Rasmus to pop out, then struck out Steve Tolleson looking.
Conger, who was part of the mound discussion, said he was “a little shocked” at Weaver’s request.
“Usually he wants the ball, he wants to keep going,” Conger said of Weaver. “It was just very good assessment on his part, he kind of knew he was fatiguing a little bit. It was just a weird situation because I’ve never seen it before.”
Scioscia had no problem with Weaver’s decision.
“He’s usually just full throttle but when he’s tired, it’s important for him to let us know,” Scioscia said.
Conger went 3 for 4 with a walk. He hit an RBI double in the fourth, homered in the sixth and added an RBI single in the ninth.
Howie Kendrick had three hits, two stolen bases and scored three times as the Angels won their third straight, matching their longest streak of the season, and beat Toronto for the 10th time in 11 meetings.
“They’ve been taking it to us,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Toronto has lost three consecutive games since winning a season-high five straight.
Los Angeles will go for a sweep in the four game series Monday night when C.J. Wilson (4-2) faces Toronto’s Mark Buehrle (6-1) in a battle of left-handers.
Starting at designated hitter, Mike Trout snapped a 4 for 32 slump with an RBI double in the fifth but struck out four times.
Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison (1-3), who has not won in seven starts, allowed three runs and three hits in 4 1-3 innings. He matched a career-high with four walks and struck out five.
Angels third baseman Ian Stewart left the game after he was hit on the left hand on a swinging strike in the seventh. He was replaced by John McDonald.
X-rays were negative but Scioscia said it was too soon to say whether Stewart would land on the disabled list.
“It’s pretty sore,” Scioscia said. “It hit him pretty flush.”
Bautista finished 0 for 4, the first time in 38 games this season that he has failed to reach safely. Bautista’s season-opening streak is the longest since Albert Pujols reached safely in 41 games to begin 2008.
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