Before Thursday night’s game began, Angel ace Jered Weaver (16-7, 2.49 ERA) was an undefeated 3-0 against the Yankees at Angel Stadium. Weaver’s fastball coming off the curveball struck out Curtis Granderson, indicating that Weaver was back to top form after a few shaky outings. Game 1 of the Los Angeles Angels series with the New York Yankees, during the weekend of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, was underway.

Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.72 ERA) won the 2005 American League Cy Young award with the Angels, and has had a mixed-bag season with the Yankees in 2011. Reggie Jackson complemented Weaver’s control during the telecast, while Weaver retired the Yankees’ second-inning hitters without incident.

Howie Kendrick drove in the first Angels run in the bottom of the fifth to score Peter Bourjos from third. This was the 52nd run-batted-in for Kendrick in his All-Star season. This tied the game from a Yankee lead courtesy of a solo home run by Jesus Montero, the third of his young career.

During the game, the Texas Rangers kept the pressure on for the American League pennant hopes of the Angels, by defeating the Oakland Athletics 14-3. This brought the deficit to three games back for the Halos, struggling once again to produce runs Friday night.

Jered Weaver was fully in command mixing speeds and locations. In the top of the sixth, Weaver struck out Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira back-to-back before inducing a ground ball from Alex Rodriguez to Alberto Callaspo. Weaver recorded eight punch outs in the first six innings of work.

A combination of intuitive pitching by Bartolo Colon and poor offense from the Angels left eight runners on base through six innings. Weaver looked confident striking out the leadoff batter, Robinson Cano. He finished the inning striking out Andruw Jones. Jered Weaver allowed only two hits and struck out 10 through seven innings with his pitch count at 101.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Mark Trumbo was called out looking on strike three on a ball inside out of the zone, thrown by reliever David Robinson (3-0 1.23 ERA). The Angels failed to get a runner on board.

In the ninth, Jordan Walden (4-3, 2.55 ERA) was brought into the game. In his previous game against the Yankees he earned a save. Mark Teixeira grounded out to start the inning. Walden walked Alex Rodriguez on a full count struggling to command his slider. Eduardo Nunez entered the game as a pinch runner who was thrown out stealing by Jeff Mathis. Cano struck out on the next pitch to end the inning, tied 1-1.

Alberto Callaspo, Vernon Wells and Peter Bourjos were due up in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Angels. The Yankees called Aaron Laffey (2-1, 4.05 ERA) in to pitch in his fourth game as a New York Yankee. Alberto Callaspo reached on a single and was subbed out for Jeremy Moore to run.

Laffey was removed from the game at that point. Luis Ayala (1-2, 1.85, 43 G) was called to the mound to face Vernon Wells. Wells drove a base hit on which Moore advanced to third with no one out for Peter Bourjos at the plate. Wells advanced to second after the first ball inside.

Ayala retaliated with a strike on the outside corner, a second strike, and then coming inside to brush Bourjos on his left elbow pad. Maicer Izturis pinch hit for Jeff Mathis.  A sacrifice fly to center brought a Halo victory Friday night, 2-1 to remain two-and-a-half games behind the Rangers in the American League West.

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