The Los Angeles Angels' Jered Weaver is getting a rare opportunity in facing the beleaguered Minnesota Twins five days after recording his first career no-hitter at their expense.
The Twins are hoping a different venue for Monday night's rematch will help them avoid some dubious history.
Weaver (4-0, 1.61 ERA) faced two batters more than the minimum during his 9-0 masterpiece Wednesday in Anaheim - Chris Parmelee reached on a dropped third strike in the second and Josh Willingham walked in the seventh.
The right-hander will become the first pitcher since Derek Lowe in 2002 to no-hit an opponent and face the same team in the next start and the sixth since the beginning of the 1991 season.
Hideo Nomo (2001), Scott Erickson (1994), Tommy Greene (1991) and Nolan Ryan (1991) are the others on that list, and their encore experiences were decidedly mixed. Greene had the best experience, following up his no-hitter against Montreal on May 23, 1991, with a three-hit shutout five days later.
Nomo allowed one run in his next start, while Erickson was tagged for seven runs. Ryan and Lowe each gave up three runs in their follow-up start.
That's perhaps why Weaver isn't overly thrilled to be joining that list. It's proved difficult enough for a pitcher to duplicate a no-hitter as Johnny Vander Meer remains the only player to throw consecutive no-hitters back in 1938 with Cincinnati.
On July 23, 2009, Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game and retired the first 17 batters he faced in his next start before issuing a walk and allowing a single to the next two hitters.
Allie Reynolds (1951), Virgil Trucks (1952), Nolan Ryan (1973) and Roy Halladay (2010) are also among the pitchers to throw two in one calendar year, and Addie Joss is the only one to throw two against the same team, the Chicago White Sox in 1908 and 1910.
"(Facing the same team in consecutive starts) is my biggest pet peeve about being a pitcher. It's tough," Weaver told the team's website. "You have to pitch a little bit different, but it's hard to pitch different because you have to pitch to your strength, as well, and the opposing team will know that."
Weaver, though, will face a team that hasn't performed much better since Wednesday's game. Minnesota has totaled five runs and 14 hits while batting .096 in their first five games this month.
The Twins (7-20) had five hits in a 5-2 loss in Seattle on Sunday, but Ryan Doumit went 3 for 3 with a pair of home runs. The loss was 11th in 13 games for Minnesota, which is 3-8 at home.
The Angels (12-17), who will seek a season high-tying third straight win Monday, are 3-9 on the road and dropped two of three in Minnesota from April 9-12. Weaver gave up five runs to the Twins over six innings of a 6-5 loss April 11.
The right-hander is winless in two road starts this season compared to 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA at home.
"I would want to be hungry to get back out there to try him again, but on a given night, if Weaver's on, he's tough," Minnesota acting manager Scott Ullger said. "Obviously, he pitches better at home, so maybe that will be a little advantage for us."
Weaver, though, might have an advantage in the form of a relaxed Albert Pujols. The high-priced slugger ended his longest career homerless drought during the regular season in Sunday's 4-3 win over Toronto.
His two-run shot in the fifth inning was his first in 33 games and 139 at-bats dating back to Sept. 22.
Francisco Liriano (0-4, 9.97) will try to keep the first baseman, who's batting .196, from homering again while ending his own woes. The left-hander gave up four runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-0 loss to the Angels on Tuesday and is 0-3 with a 9.58 ERA over his last four matchups.
Pujols is 0 for 8 in his career against Liriano, but Howie Kendrick is 6 for 11 with three extra-base hits.