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Angels' Jered Weaver spins a no-hitter on Twins

Right-hander strikes out nine and walks one to become only the third Angels pitcher since 1990 to throw a no-hitter in a 9-0 win over Minnesota at Angel Stadium.

May 02, 2012|By Eric Sondheimer

A season that started so disappointingly for the Angels was quickly forgotten among the roaring crowd of 27,288 at Angel Stadium on Wednesday night watching Jered Weaver throw the first individual home no-hitter since Nolan Ryan in 1975.

Backed by chants of "Weaver, Weaver, Weaver," the 29-year-old right-hander was surrounded by teammates near the mound after Alexi Casilla's deep fly ball to right field was caught by Torii Hunter, giving the Angels a 9-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"It's so surreal to do this with my family, my wife and some friends here," said Weaver, whose T-shirt was soaked in beer and champagne. "A lot of things have to go your way to throw a no-hitter. You never know what can happen.

"There can be a bloop hit. But the outfielders ran some balls down, [third basemanMark] Trumbomade a nice play and [catcherChris] Iannettaput down the right fingers. It still hasn't kicked in."

Two of the Twins' hardest-hit balls came in the ninth inning, when Jamey Carroll sent left fielder Vernon Wells toward the warning track on the first out, and Casilla drove a ball to deep right that Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner, caught as he reached the warning track.

"I was going through the wall for that one," Hunter said. "Casilla put a nice charge into it, and I was playing shallow, but I got on my horse. I had to go get it. If I knocked myself out for five or 10 days it wouldn't have mattered. He'd have a no-hitter."

Right-hander Dan Haren, who was charting pitches from the dugout, had an inkling early in the evening that Weaver would do something special.

"I swear to God, I felt it early," Haren said. "The way he was throwing his slider, his curve, his changeup ... they had a couple of injuries in their lineup, the wayJerome [Williams] went through them [Tuesday night], getting an early cushion, he could be more fine [with his pitches]."

Weaver's father, Dave, who was sitting in his usual Diamond Club seats with his wife and Weaver's wife, didn't really think his son could make history until there was one out in the ninth inning.

"I get so nervous sometimes I have to go stick my head in a toilet," Dave Weaver said. "It gets so nerve-racking, and he's been close before. But after 81/3 innings, I figured he'd have a chance."

After the game, father and son "hugged the heck out of each other," Dave said. "He was so excited. It's a dream come true for him."

The 10th no-hitter in club history comes at a time when the Angels are beginning to show signs of a turnaround after finishing 8-15 in the month of April.

The only baserunners for the Twins were Chris Parmelee, who reached first base on a strikeout in the second inning after the ball got away from catcher Iannetta, and Josh Willingham, who walked in the seventh on a 3-and-2 count.

There were few close calls for Weaver (4-0, 1.61 earned-run average), who struck out nine and walked one while making 121 pitches, 77 for strikes.

For most of last season, Weaver repeatedly pitched with little run support. But on Wednesday, Manager Mike Scioscia went with what he called his "going caveman" lineup, hoping some big bats would break loose. And they did.

The Angels got nine hits and six runs against starter Liam Hendriks in 21/3 innings and finished with a season-high 15 hits.

Howie Kendrick was four for four with a three-run home run in the fourth inning, giving him seven hits in the last two games. Kendrys Morales had a double, home run and single. Mark Trumbo had a run-scoring double and a run-scoring single.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

 Staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

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