By Joe Haakenson, The Sports Xchange
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jered Weaver gave up two hits over eight shutout innings to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins Wednesday afternoon at Angels Stadium.
Weaver thoroughly baffled the Twins hitters all afternoon by effectively mixing up his pitches, not unlike how he pitched the last time he faced the Twins at Angel Stadium. On May 2 of last year, Weaver threw a no-hitter against the Twins.
This one wasn't much different. In both last year's game and Wednesday's, Weaver struck out nine and walked one. The only hits he allowed were Doug Bernier's one-out single in the first inning and Aaron Hicks' two-out single in the eighth. Between Bernier's single and a walk to Ryan Doumit with two outs in the seventh, Weaver retired 19 batters in a row.
But while last year's no-hitter was an easy, 9-0 victory for the Angels, Wednesday's didn't come without some angst. Closer Ernest Frieri, less than 24 hours after giving up five runs in the ninth inning Tuesday, gave up a walk and hit a batter to start the ninth inning.
But Frieri made a heads-up play when Justin Morneau followed and popped up his bunt. Frieri let it fall, then started a 1-3-6-4 double play. On the play, Clete Thomas went from second to third. Frieri walked Doumit but struck out Chris Herrmann to end it for his 25th save.
The Angels scored their only run of the game on Albert Pujols' RBI single in the first inning off Twins starter Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey (4-8) gave up one run and five hits in six innings.
The Angels took the lead with a run in the first inning against Twins starter Mike Pelfrey. J.B. Shuck led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Albert Pujols' single to center. It wasn't much, but it appeared to be plenty the way Weaver started out.
Any no-hitter drama was thwarted early when Doug Bernier singled with one-out in the first inning, but Weaver settled in from there. Bernier's hit was the only baserunner the Twins had through five innings, Weaver retiring 15 of the 16 batters he faced to that point and the Angels held a 1-0 lead.
Other than the first inning, Pelfrey matched Weaver through five innings and kept the Twins close.
NOTES: Twins C Joe Mauer was placed on the paternity list after his wife Maddie gave birth to twin girls, Maren and Emily. Mauer arrived at the hospital in Minnesota about 3 a.m. Wednesday, and the twins were born a half-hour later. Mauer is expected to rejoin the team in Seattle in the next couple of days. ... C Drew Butera was recalled from Class AAA Rochester to take Mauer's roster spot. Butera had spent the entire season in Rochester hitting .215 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 25 games. ... Angels DH Albert Pujols has hit 17 home runs, putting him on pace for 28 for the season. He has never hit fewer than 30 in his 12 previous seasons. His 492 career homers rank 28th on the all-time list. His next homer will put him in a three-way tied for 26th with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff. ... The Angels claimed RHP J.C. Gutierrez off waivers from the Royals and placed him on the 40-man roster. Gutierrez was 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 25 relief appearances this season for the Royals.