Jered Weaver excellent in first start back from right biceps tendinitis

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It looks like some rest was just what the doctor ordered for Jered Weaver, as he helped the Angels avoid a sweep by blanking the Athletics 6-0 this afternoon.

Weaver, who was skipped in the rotation last week due to right biceps tendinitis, allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings while striking out nine and walking just one. He didn’t allow a baserunner to advance past second base. Weaver improved to 17-4 with the win and now holds a 2.74 ERA across 26 starts this season.

Weaver and Brett Anderson actually matched zeroes over the first six innings before the Angels plated all six of their runs in the bottom of the seventh. Torii Hunter got the scoring started with a solo shot to lead off the inning while Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo followed with RBI singles. Mike Trout scored on a passed ball while Hunter appropriately put a cap on the rally with an RBI single.

This was still a disappointing week for the Angels, as they ended up losing three out of four at home to fall three back (four in the loss column) to the Yankees for the second Wild Card, but Weaver’s start today can be viewed as a major positive. The Angels will begin a three-game set against the Royals tomorrow night with C.J. Wilson on the hill against Bruce Chen.

As for the Athletics, their 12-game road winning streak is over. They’ll begin a three-game series with the Orioles tomorrow night at home with Tommy Milone going up against Joe Saunders. Wouldn’t have guessed in April that this would be appointment viewing, but it absolutely is.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.