06/21/09 1:53 AM ET
Dodgers' Weaver wins battle of brothers
Jeff allows two runs over five-plus innings to top Jered
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"I'm glad we had the one that won," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Jeff (4-1), reborn as a swingman after his career as a starter faltered, made his first spot start in a month and allowed two runs on six hits in five-plus innings, striking out four without a walk. Jered (7-3), done in by a three-run fifth inning that included a two-run triple by Andre Ethier, went 5 1/3 inning and was charged with six runs on 10 hits -- three of them Russell Martin's, including his first homer of the year.
With their parents in the stands wearing re-sewn jerseys (one-half Dodgers, one-half Angels), there was nothing normal about this game for the Weaver clan.
"That was my wife's idea," Jeff Weaver said. "We thought it would be a nice treat for our parents to put on and have fun with."
Jeff spotted the Angels a 2-0 lead with his two-base errant pickoff attempt, then a solo home run by Kendry Morales leading off the second inning.
But the Dodgers' offense tied the game in the third on Martin's first homer of the year and Orlando Hudson's sacrifice fly, then hung the loss on Jered with a three-run fifth inning that included Casey Blake's RBI single and a two-run triple by Ethier, adding a sixth run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch by reliever Kevin Jepsen.
It was Jered Weaver's worst start of the year, having allowed only five earned runs in his previous five starts.
"We caught him on the right day," Jeff Weaver said. "We let each other be before the game. You always want to see your brother do well. It's hard to put into words how I feel. Now, I'll go upstairs and give him a big hug and we'll put all of this behind us."
Meaning, with all the fuss made over the novelty of only the eighth head-to-head brother starter act in MLB history, Weaver is happy it's over.
"One-hundred percent," he said. "Mentally and physically, I'm exhausted. With a couple days of buildup, once it's all done, you just kind of go flat. There was a lot of emotion both sides had to deal with. When I came out of the game, it all kind of hit me."
"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."
Martin, coming out of his season-long slump in a big way, said Jeff Weaver was effective because of a strategy adjustment.
"He told me he wanted to come inside more and it worked," said Martin. "With his hard sinker and the way he mixes his arm slots up, the hitters couldn't just keep their eye on fastballs away."
After the Morales homer leading off the second inning, Jeff Weaver faced the minimum batters (thanks to Matt Kemp's circus catch on Erick Aybar in the second inning) until Chone Figgins led off the sixth inning with a triple and Torre removed Weaver.
"I think he was a little gassed," Torre said of Weaver, who pitched five innings in each of his three previous spot starts this year.
"Rough night for Jered," Angels center fielder Torii 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 -- and 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."
While Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton was welcomed back after missing four days with an inflamed toe by Gary Matthews' two-run pinch-hit homer in the ninth, that couldn't diminish the relief work done by Ronald Belisario (five outs, all strikeouts) or Ramon Troncoso (four batters, four outs).
Belisario inherited a runner on third with no outs and struck out the side without the runner scoring.
"The people who came out of the bullpen did a great job for us," said Torre. "Broxton was rusty, but he was fine."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.