Weaver beats Twins, improves to 5-0
It didn't take long for Jered Weaver to know that Johnny Vander Meer's record for consecutive no-hitters was in little danger.
Maybe a little drained after throwing his first career no-hitter in his previous start, the Los Angeles Angels ace found out quickly how impressive the feat that Vander Meer pulled off in 1938 really is.
Weaver allowed three hits over six exhausting innings to lead the Angels to an 8-3 victory on Monday night.
Weaver (5-0) gave up one run with two walks and two strikeouts and Alberto Callaspo had a homer and three RBIs for the Angels, who have won six of eight as they try to climb out of the cellar in the AL West.
''To have it happen once is pretty special,'' Weaver said. ''But to do it twice in a row, I don't see it happening ever again.''
Cincinnati's Vander Meer no-hit the Boston Bees and the Brooklyn Dodgers on consecutive starts in 1938. No pitcher has done it since.
Weaver threw 121 pitches in his start against the Twins last week, and didn't have much left when he took the mound on Monday night.
''I just felt gassed there a little bit,'' Weaver said. ''Obviously I'm one to kind push through stuff and ask to go one more, but I don't know if it was mentally draining or physically draining. I don't know what it was but I just felt a little gassed out there towards the end of the game.''
Erik Komatsu had two of the Twins' three hits against Weaver, but the Twins didn't have much more success against Weaver than they did on Wednesday.
Francisco Liriano (0-5) gave up four runs on five hits in five innings with three walks and four strikeouts for the Twins.
Albert Pujols went 1 for 5 with two RBI a day after homering for the first time this season. He's hitting .197 after signing a $240 million contract.
Weaver was relaxed in the clubhouse before the game, the picture of California cool.
With his dirty blonde hair flowing, Weaver rocked back in his chair and joked with Dan Haren and Ervin Santana before trying to become just the second pitcher in big league history to throw consecutive no-hitters.
Against the ghastly Twins lineup that was missing sluggers Josh Willingham (illness) and Justin Morneau (wrist), anything was possible. They entered the game with just 14 hits and five runs total in their previous five games.
The last pitcher to face the same team he no-hit in his next start was Derek Lowe in 2002, and the lanky right-hander breezed through the first two innings in 20 pitches Monday night. But he walked Trevor Plouffe to start the third inning and lost a 10-pitch battle to Komatsu, who singled to center field to break up the bid for history.
''He was fouling off a lot of pitches and got me deep into the count, but obviously didn't want to walk him at all,'' Weaver said. ''And he was able to put good wood on the ball and kind of skinned my butt there. Came up hot. Luckily I don't have much back there to work with.''
Weaver's pitch count steadily rose after the first three innings, but he held the Twins to one run on a fielder's choice by Denard Span after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth. The run ended Weaver's scoreless streak at 21 innings, but that was the only down spot for him on Monday night.
He left with a 4-1 lead, thanks to an RBI groundout from Pujols in the first, a two-run homer from Callaspo in the third and a sacrifice fly from Peter Bourjos in the fourth.
''Even though his pitch count wasn't high, he just didn't seem like he was in sync for most of the night,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''I just think it shows what a terrific pitcher he is that he can get through six innings with really not the stuff you would expect.''
The Twins scored two in the eighth against the Angels' shaky bullpen, but Los Angeles tacked on three insurance runs, thanks in part to an error by Komatsu in left field that allowed two runs to score, in the ninth to put the game away.
NOTES: Twins SS Brian Dozier made his MLB debut, going 1 for 4 with a single. ... The Angels placed RHP LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day DL with a broken pinkie finger on his right hand. LHP Scott Downs also was out with a bruised left knee. Scioscia said he would go with a closer-by-committee approach until Downs, who is day to day, is ready. .... Twins OF Clete Thomas cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Rochester. ... LHP Scott Diamond, who was called up from Triple-A Rochester on Sunday to replace struggling Liam Hendriks, will make his season debut on Tuesday against RHP Haren (1-2, 3.43) for the Angels.