ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jered Weaver quickly shook off the rust, striking out the first two batters he faced to start his first game in nearly eight weeks.
The right-hander pitched six strong innings and Mark Trumbo hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning, giving the Los Angeles Angels a 4-3 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night in the Freeway Series.
Weaver (1-1) allowed one run and five hits, struck out seven and walked none in his first home start of the season and 100th of his career at Angel Stadium.
“That was comforting in itself,” he said. “I was just worried about getting the first out. That was the most nerve-racking. When you haven’t been out there in a while, you ask yourself, ‘Can I still do this?’”
The Angels tied a season high with their fifth straight victory at home while snapping a two-game skid.
“We didn’t kill the ball, but we got enough done,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “When your lead dog is out there, there’s definitely a different presence.”
Weaver came off the disabled list, where he’d been since April 9 with a broken left elbow that occurred when he was trying to get out of the way of a line drive at Texas.
“It’s been a long road and a lot of frustrating times,” he said. “I got to give it up to the training staff for dealing with me for six weeks. Everything felt great, location was good.”
Weaver was perfect through four innings before Andre Ethier doubled to deep center field leading off the fifth for the Dodgers’ first hit.
After Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke struck out, Skip Schumaker singled with two outs — the first of three in a row off Weaver that loaded the bases — and Ethier scored to tie the game 1-1. Carl Crawford grounded out to first to end the inning.
“His velocity was good,” Scioscia said, noting Weaver reached 91 mph. “His fastball had that late life we’re used to seeing. He knows what he can do out on the mound and he showed it.”
Weaver downplayed the speed of his pitches, saying, “I don’t buy into the velocity anymore. As long as you can locate and change speeds, it makes it all worthwhile. Six weeks off, your arm strength isn’t going to be there.”
Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth to earn his 11th save in 12 chances, becoming the first Angels pitcher ever to earn a one-inning save despite giving up two homers — a leadoff shot to Adrian Gonzalez on a 3-2 pitch and a two-out shot to Van Slyke that cut the Angels’ lead to 4-3.
Chris Capuano (1-4) gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked four.
“I definitely was leaving it all out there,” he said. “It’s frustrating when we battle back to score that one and then let them get the lead right back.”
Trumbo’s team-leading 12th homer scored Albert Pujols, who walked with two outs. Trumbo drove in his third run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, extending the Angels’ lead to 4-1.
They led 1-0 on Erick Aybar’s RBI double with two outs in the second.
Angels slugger Josh Hamilton went 0 for 3 with a walk after being scratched Tuesday because of back spasms.
Kemp was hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts. He left the game in the seventh with a mild right hamstring strain, hurting himself when Mike Trout doubled in the center field gap.
“When you feel it grabbing, you’ve got to take it easy and make sure you’re careful with it because it can get worse,” he said. “I’ll get an MRI tomorrow and we’ll go from there. I don’t how much time I’ll miss.”
The Dodgers won the first two games of the Freeway Series in Los Angeles. The finale is Thursday in Anaheim.
NOTES: Trumbo’s homer was his fifth against a left-hander this season, tying for most in the AL. … Schumaker became the first Dodger to play second base and center field in the same game since Jolbert Cabrera in 2003. … Van Slyke’s homer was his first in interleague play. … The Dodgers have started all five road trips this season with a loss. … RHP Hyun-Jin Ryu’s two-hit shutout on Tuesday was the first by a Dodgers rookie since Hiroki Kuroda’s one-hitter on July 7, 2008, against Atlanta. … Dodgers INF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. turned 37 on Wednesday. … The Angels had a moment of silence for Lewis Yocum. The team’s orthopedist of 36 years died of liver cancer last weekend.