Twins 1, Angels 0(10)

BY foxsports • May 29, 2011

Jered Weaver hasn't won a game for the Los Angeles Angels since April 25, despite a sparkling 2.10 ERA and the second-most strikeouts in the American League.

This was the ultimate hard-luck loss.

Weaver tossed nine shutout innings but Danny Valencia hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th, lifting the Minnesota Twins to a 1-0 victory Saturday night.

Anthony Swarzak, a late fill-in for Minnesota, allowed Los Angeles' only hit - Peter Bourjos' one-out double in the eighth. Swarzak struck out four and walked two in eight innings, receiving a standing ovation after Bourjos' hit and when he departed the game.

The right-hander was filling in for Francisco Liriano, who was scratched the day before because of shoulder soreness.

''That's what you call an old-fashioned pitchers duel, I guess,'' Weaver said. ''Any loss is frustrating, but it's a little frustrating to lose that way. But what are you going to do? You keep going.''

Weaver threw a season-high 128 pitches in nine innings, yielding two hits and two walks while striking out seven.

The teams combined for only three hits until the decisive 10th, when Valencia lobbed a medium fly over Torii Hunter's head in right field and got mobbed behind the mound in a celebratory pileup.

''It's obviously frustrating on our side,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''You've got two guys matching each other pitch for pitch. They got the best of us. ... Jared pitched his heart out, and unfortunately we couldn't get anything going to get some support for him and get the win.''

Weaver struck out pinch-hitter Jim Thome to start his final frame and finished it by fanning Alexi Casilla on a curveball. The long-haired, lanky right-hander surrendered a sharp second-inning single to Delmon Young but he was perhaps more dominant than Swarzak.

''They both were letting it hang on every pitch,'' Scioscia said. ''I thought both pitchers had great poise to be able to challenge hitters and make pitches when you know that if you make one mistake, that could be the ballgame.''

In the 10th, Hisanori Takahashi (1-1) gave up a hard one-out single to Justin Morneau. Jason Repko ran for Morneau and Kevin Jepsen came in and gave up consecutive singles to Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young.

Left fielder Alexi Amarista came in as an extra man for the drawn-in infield, and Valencia hit one high and far enough to get Repko in and give the stumbling Twins something to cheer about.

Matt Capps worked the ninth and Alex Burnett (1-3) picked up the victory with a scoreless 10th.

Swarzak was the star in his second start of the season for the Twins. He was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on May 16 to help the injury-ravaged relievers. The plan was to keep Swarzak around 75 pitches, and six or seven innings would be a bonus.

He gave them that and much more.

Swarzak got Russell Branyan on a groundout to start the eighth before the speedy Bourjos banged a line drive down the left-field line. Bourjos was barely to second base when activity began in the bullpen. The sellout crowd of 39,824 stood to cheer the effort, and Swarzak recovered to retire the next two batters.

Swarzak walked slowly off the mound and let out a sigh of relief.

''He threw the ball well. He was locating his heater and throwing his slider for strikes and doing the same thing Weaver was doing to them, pretty much, keeping us off balance,'' Angels catcher Jeff Mathis said.

This was only Weaver's second no-decision of the season, but he hasn't won in six starts. He has pitched at least six innings in 20 straight starts, dating to last August.

''Every guy who goes to the plate wants to get that big hit for him,'' Mathis said. ''There's no excuse for not pushing a run across or getting more hits or anything. You want to get in there and battle for him, the way he's throwing the ball.''

Weaver said he wasn't throwing the ball as well as he wanted to, but he was satisfied by the way he finished the ninth.

''Ball was up and maybe I was a little tired, but I was able to make a couple of pitches when I needed to,'' he said.

NOTES: Bourjos and Hunter are still learning how to play next to each other in the outfield, as evidenced by the shallow fly they both bobbled but caught after converging on the ball in Friday's game. ''They've got to say aggressive, but at some point Peter's got to know Torii's space and vice versa, and hopefully we're going to smooth that out,'' Scioscia said. ... The Angels have scored only seven runs in their last 49 innings on the road, including the five-run rally in Friday's game here.