Weaver bested by Dodgers, big brother

Weaver falls to Dodgers, big brother

ANAHEIM -- Big brother still rules.

Jered Weaver might be on his way to his first All-Star Game at 26, but he was still the kid brother on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Jeff Weaver, rebuilding his career with the Dodgers at 32, had the upper hand against kid brother Jered and the Angels, claiming a 6-4 decision in the first meeting between the angular right-handers from Simi Valley, Calif.

"He's got the upper hand on me the past 26 years," Jered Weaver said, grinning. "We're going to laugh about it. It was fun. Hopefully, we don't have to go through it again."

With the Weavers' parents and about 35 family members and friends watching among 44,148 fans, Jeff held the Angels to two earned runs across five innings.

Flourishing in a spot role the second time around with the Dodgers, his sixth Major League club, the elder Weaver moved to 4-1 and shaved his ERA to 3.71.

"Jeff pitched a good ballgame," said Angels skipper Mike Scioscia, who managed both Weavers in 2006 before Jeff was dealt to the Cardinals and played a major role in the outfit that went on to win the World Series. "It looked like he had good life and threw strikes."

Jered, meanwhile, struggled more than at any time this season in yielding six earned runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He fell to 7-3 as his ERA rose to 2.53.

"It was a little different," said Jered Weaver, who had given up a total of six earned runs in 53 2/3 previous innings at home this season. "You try to keep it out of your mind as much as possible.

"It's one of those games where you wish you could have it back. I couldn't get the ball down for the most part. Some balls were up, and they didn't miss them. No excuses. I go out and pitch every game the same way."

Perhaps, but he doesn't warm up alongside his brother in adjacent bullpens every time out, and his parents aren't wearing creative jerseys -- half blue, half red, with a blue 3 and a red 6 -- within plain view of the mound the brothers shared.

"At least one good thing came out of it," Jered said. "They got some sweet jerseys."

Gail Weaver, mother of the two pitchers, sat with husband Dave behind home plate. Dad had a hard time watching either of his boys yield a hit or long one, burying his head in his hands at times, but that's nothing unusual.

"I saw Dad with his head down a couple times," Jered said. "It's the way he is all the time. It doesn't matter if we're both facing off or pitching by ourselves. He's just as competitive as we are. I'm sure he would have liked it to go another way."

Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, .480 career hitter against Weaver with two homers and 16 RBIs in 25 at-bats coming into the game, was 0-for-2 against the 6-foot-5 Weaver, striking out in his first at-bat.

"Rough night for Jered," Hunter said. "You know he wanted to beat his big brother. But big brother was calm ... and good.

"I've never liked facing Jeff -- I don't care what the numbers say. Maybe I've concentrated more against him, knowing how tough he is. He looked good. He was throwing harder than a couple of years ago, and he had his sinker and slider working. He's so long, when he releases the ball, he's behind a right-handed hitter. That's not a comfortable at-bat."

The Angels jumped to a 2-0 lead. Singles by Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu around a throwing error by Jeff Weaver manufactured a run in the first, and Kendry Morales cracked a leadoff homer in the second, his 11th of the season.

The Dodgers drew even in the third. Russell Martin ended his homer drought with his first of the season, a one-out shot to left on a fastball Jered Weaver left over the plate.

Two walks and a single had the Dodgers even on Orlando Hudson's sacrifice fly.

As Jeff was settling into a confident groove, Jered ran into bigger trouble in the fifth.

A walk and two-out singles by James Loney and Casey Blake preceded a two-run triple by Andre Ethier, handing the Dodgers a three-run lead.

"The walks hurt him," Scioscia said, Weaver having issued three free passes while striking out four. "He didn't quite get comfortable. He threw a lot of pitches and wasn't quite as sharp as he's been.

"He's not going out there tonight with any idea but pitching in the moment, pitching this ballgame. Jered wasn't distracted by anything. He's out there competing."

It was the first time in 14 starts this season Jered Weaver has yielded more than four runs in an outing.

Weaver gave up another run in the sixth, departing after two singles, when reliever Kevin Jepsen uncorked a wild pitch. A tremendous play by catcher Jeff Mathis, nailing Kemp at home on another pitch in the dirt, ended the inning.

"Give them credit," Scioscia said. "They're in first place for a reason. If you're missing your spots, they're going to let you know."

When Gary Matthews Jr. crushed a two-run homer in the ninth against Jonathan Broxton, it was the first pinch-hit homer by the Angels this season and the fourth of Matthews' career.

The Dodgers are 2-3 against the Angels, who are 9-2 in Interleague Play heading into the series finale matching John Lackey against Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.