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Jered Weaver improves to 5-0 in Angels' victory over Twins

In his first start since no-hitting Minnesota last week, Angels ace gives up one run and three hits in six innings of an 8-3 victory.

May 07, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna

MINNEAPOLIS — — Jered Weaver left Monday night's game against the Minnesota Twins after six innings with a new appreciation for Johnny Vander Meer, the Cincinnati Reds left-hander who in 1938 became the only pitcher in major league history to throw two consecutive no-hitters.

Weaver gave up one run and three hits in an 8-3 victory that gave the Angels their sixth win in eight games, but after throwing a no-hitter against the Twins in Anaheim on Wednesday night, the right-hander had only enough in his tank to throw 89 pitches in Target Field on Monday night.

"I don't know if I was mentally or physically drained, but I felt a little gassed out there," said Weaver, who improved to 5-0 and lowered his earned-run average to 1.60. "Maybe it's because I threw 121 pitches the game before, but my velocity wasn't there. I got lucky. A lot of things went my way."

The biggest thing working in Weaver's favor was facing a team that has baseball's worst record and was without two of its best hitters, Justin Morneau, who is on the disabled list, and Josh Willingham, who had flu symptoms.

So even though he didn't have his best stuff and didn't go as deep as he would have liked, Weaver came up with enough big pitches and got enough defensive help to remain undefeated and extend his scoreless-innings streak to 21 before Denard Span's run-scoring fielder's choice in the fifth inning.

And there was no shame in falling short of Vander Meer.

"To get one no-hitter is hard enough; to follow it with one is pretty ridiculous," Weaver said. "I think that's going to stand for quite some time. I don't see anybody else doing that. To do it twice in a row, a lot of things have to go your way. A little dink here, a broken-bat single, a lot of little things can happen over the course of a game."

The Angels built a 5-1 lead through seven innings Monday on the strength of Alberto Callaspo's two-run home run in the third inning and two runs batted in by Albert Pujols, who drove in Maicer Izturis with a grounder to shortstop in the first inning and Chris Iannetta with a sharp single to left field in the seventh.

It marked the second consecutive two-RBI game for Pujols, whose two-run homer Sunday ended a string of 110 at-bats without a home run. Pujols, who is batting .197, had five RBIs in his first 27 games.

Struggling Angels left-hander Hisanori Takahashi retired the side in order in the seventh inning, but Minnesota scored twice and had three hits against right-hander David Carpenter to make it 5-3 in the eighth before Jordan Walden got Ryan Doumit to fly to right field and struck out Danny Valencia looking at a 97-mph fastball.

Peter Bourjos, who hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, led off the ninth with a bunt single, took second on an error and scored on Callaspo's single to center field. After Torii Hunter walked, two runs scored when Erik Komatsu dropped Mark Trumbo's fly ball to the gap in left-center field for an error that gave the Angels an 8-3 lead.

It was Komatsu who, after fouling off four full-count pitches, broke up Weaver's no-hitter Monday night with a third-inning bullet that grazed the lanky 6-foot-7, 210-pound Weaver's backside before continuing into center field.

"He got good wood on the ball, and it came out hot," Weaver said. "It kind of skimmed my butt, but luckily, I don't have much to work with back there."

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

twitter.com/MikeDiGiovanna

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