Shoulder knot forces Weaver out early

Shoulder knot forces Weaver out early

ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Jered Weaver left Tuesday night's game against the Indians after just three innings because of a knot in his throwing shoulder but isn't expected to miss his next start.

Weaver said he first felt the knot in the first inning but he thought it might go away after getting it worked on by the Angels training staff after the inning. Weaver had dealt with the problem before in his career, but this time the knot wouldn't go away.

"It's nothing new, but I never had it where I had to come out of the game," Weaver said. "I was trying to do everything to try and get extension, but it wouldn't loosen up."

Weaver consulted with Angels manager Mike Scioscia after walking Ben Francisco with one out in third inning but remained in the game for the rest of the inning.

Pitching coach Mike Butcher came to the mound and talked to Weaver after he walked the next batter, Casey Blake, but Weaver got Shin-Soo Choo to fly out to right and struck out Kelly Shoppach to end the inning.

Weaver already had thrown 77 pitches through just three innings, so Scioscia said it was an easy decision to remove him from the game.

"After the third inning, it didn't make sense to keep him in there, as he was nearing 80 pitches," Scioscia said. "I think there were times he was having some trouble putting guys away. He couldn't throw his breaking ball and put guys away, and it cost him a lot of pitches."

Weaver allowed two runs on three hits, walking two and hitting another, but struck out four batters. It was also the shortest start of the season for Weaver, who broke a streak of four straight starts in which pitched at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer.

Left-hander Darren Oliver relieved Weaver in the fourth inning and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings to get the victory. Oliver, Jose Arredondo, Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez combined to pitch six scoreless innings in relief.

"That was real big picking up the guy from the fourth inning on," catcher Jeff Mathis said. "That was impressive."

Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.