KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Even without his best stuff, Jered Weaver won again.
Struggling early with his breaking ball yesterday, the 6-foot-7-inch righthander still became the first rookie in 25 years to win his first seven starts, pitching the Los Angeles Angels past the Kansas City Royals, 3-1.
Not since Fernando Valenzuela went 8-0 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 had any rookie launched his career with seven wins in seven starts.
``We're getting wins. That's all I really care about," Weaver said. ``For my first seven, I've been able to do that. We've just got to keep it rolling, and hopefully we'll get good defense like we've been having in my seven games."
How good has the No. 12 pick of the 2004 draft been?
He went 6 2/3 innings in his second start against Kansas City, giving up three hits and one run. His ERA actually went up -- from 1.12 to 1.15 in 47 innings.
``What I was impressed with was the way Jered pitched around the fact he didn't have command of his breaking ball, although he wasn't missing by much," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``He was able to get his fastball over, and he threw some nice breaking balls when he had to. But he pitched without his best stuff."
Robb Quinlan hit a two-run single and Adam Kennedy added an RBI single, sending the surging Angels to their eighth win in 11 games. They improved to 15-4 in July.
Weaver gave up only an infield single until the sixth, when the Royals broke through for their lone run. He was relieved by J.C. Romero after hitting Angel Berroa with a pitch.
Romero got out of the seventh and Scot Shields worked a scoreless eighth. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances.
It was the first time Weaver has allowed more than two walks. While beating Baltimore, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Oakland, and Kansas City twice, he's never given up more than five hits or two earned runs.
Still, the Royals were a bit perplexed.
``We sat around and talked about it afterward," Mark Teahen said. ``He's not throwing anything up there we haven't seen. Not great stuff. But he makes his pitches, works both sides of the plate and he's got a little deception with that turn he's got. He's kind of throwing across his body. I feel like I saw him all right. But he's hot right now."
Quinlan had a two-run single off Brandon Duckworth (1-4) as the Angels beat the Royals for the 11th time in their last 13 games in Kauffman Stadium.