CHICAGO (AP) - Jered Weaver gave White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen something else to worry about other than his struggling bullpen.
Filling in for the injured Jake Peavy, Phil Humber was charged with four runs, all in the fourth inning, as the White Sox lost 4-3 to Weaver and Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
The Los Angeles Angels bullpen extended its scoreless streak to 25 1-3 innings and Weaver (4-0) held the White Sox to three runs on four hits in seven innings. Two of the runs were earned. The 2010 strikeout leader added four to his 2011 total and leads the majors with 31 this season.
``He is one of the best guys in the league for a reason, but we handled him pretty well. We made him pitch,' said Guillen. ``We knew it was going to be a battle against him, but if we play like the way we did today we're going to win a lot of games.'
The White Sox, who have loss three of four, got four scoreless innings from a bullpen that has already blown six saves.
``I feel confident about our team, we can very easily have a better record. Let's put it this way, if this is the worst we're going to play and we're still winning games I think that's real positive,' Gordon Beckham said. ``You know the bullpen is going to do better, we're going to hit and the starting pitching has been great. If this is our kind of bump in the road than we're going to be really good.'
Fernando Rodney worked out of trouble with two on and one out in the eighth and Jordan Walden worked a perfect ninth to preserve the win for Weaver, the first in the majors to reach four wins.
Maicer Izturis had three hits and drove in two runs Friday to help Angels win their third straight and seventh in the last nine games.
``We got the four-spot but had a lot more opportunities. We've got to do a better job with runners in scoring position as the season moves on. It's kinda been plaguing us a little early on. Izzy got the big hit for us with two outs. Then we just played defense and got it done,' Angels manger Mike Scioscia said.
Weaver retired the first six batters he faced, but found trouble in the third inning. He hit A.J. Pierzynski in the back on a 1-2 pitch to lead off and Alexei Ramirez blooped a single into shallow center to put runners on first and second.
Brent Morel then botched a bunt, popping out to catcher Hank Conger. Juan Pierre followed with a fly out to left field, but Weaver couldn't escape unscathed. Beckham ripped a 1-1 pitch into left field to drive in Pierzynski. Weaver rebounded to strike out Adam Dunn for the second time.
The Angels responded immediately with a four-run fourth. Only two of the four runs that Humber (1-1) allowed were earned thanks to a bad throw by Morel.
Humber struck out four and gave up six hits, but was hit hard all night.
``It was a battle. I didn't have control of most of my pitches for the most part,' Humber said. ``They got some hits to fall in, strung together and I walked Vernon there. That was probably the thing I was most disappointed with nobody on. It kind of came back to bite me and it was disappointing as far as giving the team a chance to win. Weaver is going to tough and giving up four in the fourth inning was not what I was looking for.'
Heavy rain returned in the bottom of the fifth as the game became official, prompting the umpiring crew to call for the tarp with two outs in the top of the sixth. The game resumed after 30 minutes.
Despite the delay, Weaver stayed in the game, but gave up a two-run homer by Dunn just two batters after retaking the mound.
``It wasn't too bad. Obviously a half-hour delay, you can have a half-hour inning sometimes. It wasn't too bad. Just tried to stay up here and stay warm. I was able to play some catch, actually in the hallway here, that was kind of weird,' Weaver said.
Heavy rain came again in the ninth as the Angels took the field for the bottom half. The players briefly took shelter in the dugout, but reappeared just a minute later, before the grounds crew could take out the tarp, and began warming up again. Play resumed after just a 3-minute delay.
NOTES: In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, Robinson's granddaughter, Sonia Pankey, threw out the first pitch. ... Angels RHP Joel Pineiro (right shoulder tendinitis) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session in Arizona Friday. ``He still has work to do,' Scioscia said. ... Angels LHP Scott Kazmir (lower back soreness) is working out in Houston but will join the team Monday for a three-game series in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. ... White Sox LHP Will Ohman struck out Izturis with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth.
The Associated Press News Service
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