ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jered Weaver pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his last 10 starts and matched a career high with his second straight 11-strikeout performance, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Vladimir Guerrero and Erick Aybar homered for the Angels, who moved 4½ games ahead of Texas in the AL West. The victory was only their third in 11 meetings this season with the Rangers.

Weaver (12-3) won his fifth consecutive decision and eighth of nine overall, allowing two runs and five hits over 7 1-3 innings, including Hank Blalock’s two-run homer in the fifth. The right-hander allowed his only walk in the eighth to Taylor Teagarden leading off the inning.

Elvis Andrus followed with a single and both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Omar Vizquel, but Kevin Jepsen struck out Michael Young and retired Marlon Byrd on a flyball that right fielder Gary Matthews Jr. had trouble finding in the sun.

Jepsen struck out Andruw Jones to open the ninth, and Brian Fuentes got two outs to record his 31st save in 35 chances on the eve of his 34th birthday.

Eddie Guardado (1-2) came on in the seventh in relief of starter Kevin Millwood and gave up a homer to Aybar. He drove a 1-0 pitch into the lower seats in the left-field corner for his fifth home run and a 3-2 lead.

Guerrero tied the score 2-all in the sixth, sending a 1-0 pitch into the same area for his seventh homer of the season and 398th of his career. Millwood had sent the 2004 AL MVP to the ground with a high and tight pitch in the first inning.

Millwood threw 101 pitches over six innings in his first start since July 26, when he pitched two innings at Kansas City and left with a strained gluteus muscle. The 34-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and nine hits while striking out five, after surrendering 13 runs over 11 1-3 innings in back-to-back starts against the Angels last month.

The Angels opened the scoring in the fourth with a two-out RBI double by Kendry Morales over the head of center fielder Marlon Byrd. But the Rangers pulled ahead after Weaver’s first two pitches in the fourth, as Josh Hamilton doubled and Blalock hit his 23rd homer.

Hours after a Web site published photos of Hamilton cavorting with several scantily clad women in a bar last January, Hamilton went 2 for 4.

“I always knew there would be a chance it would come out,” said Hamilton, who created headlines last season with his inspired comeback from alcoholism and drug abuse to lead the major leagues in RBIs. “If you have alcohol in your system, your inhibitions go out the window. I’m allergic to it – every time I break out in an orange suit and handcuffs.”


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