American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, May 7th
(All times eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (12-17) at Minnesota Twins (7-20), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Jered Weaver (4-0, 1.61)
Minnesota - Francisco Liriano (0-4, 9.97)
(Sports Network) - Jered Weaver takes the ball for the first time since his
no-hitter this evening and will be facing the team he shut down, as the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim open a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins at
Weaver becomes 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. Of course, he's also trying to become the first
pitcher since Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 to throw consecutive no-
"It's my biggest pet peeve about being a pitcher. It's tough," Weaver said of
facing the same team in consecutive starts. "Obviously, you face the same team
twice, 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."
The 29-year-old right-hander was absolutely magnificent on Wednesday against
the Twins, as he walked just one batter and struck out nine in throwing the
franchise's 10th no-hitter.
Weaver will be facing the Twins for the third time this season tonight and is
6-3 lifetime against them with a 3.73 ERA in 12 starts.
Weaver may also have a rejuvenated Albert Pujols behind him too. Pujols' home
run drought ended at 139 at-bats on Sunday when he launched a two-run bomb in
the fifth inning to help the Angels best the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-3, in the
finale of a four-game set at Angel Stadium.
"I put a good swing on it. It's all about making adjustments," the three-time
MVP said. "The fans wanted to see it, I heard the boos; it's part of the game.
But the cheers were louder."
Pujols, the 12-year-veteran who signed a 10-year $240 million contract during
the offseason, was hitting just .194 entering Sunday and had been given the
night off on Saturday.
Jerome Williams (3-1) picked up the victory, scattering eight hits and three
runs, two earned, with a walk and four strikeouts, as Los Angeles finished off
a split in the series.
"I wasn't as sharp as last game, but when I needed to bear down, I did. I got
outs when I needed to," Williams said.
It was not all good news for the hosts, however. Angels closer Scott Downs
entered in the ninth but left the game with an apparent left leg injury
sustained while attempting to avoid a line drive hit by J.P. Arencibia.
Minnesota, meanwhile, lost the final two games of its set with the Seattle
Mariners, falling 5-2 in Sunday's rubber match at Safeco Field.
Ryan Doumit hit two home runs for the Twins while Nick Blackburn (0-4) gave up
five runs over six innings to suffer the loss. He has not won since July 8,
"I thought he was kind of feeling for the ball, wasn't aggressive until later
on in the game, and when he got aggressive, he was pretty effective,"
Minnesota bench coach Scott Ullger said of Blackburn.
Minnesota has managed just five runs and 14 hits while batting .096 in their
first five games this month.
The Twins turn to struggling lefty Francisco Liriano, who is 0-4 with a 9.97
ERA. Liriano lost to the Angels on Wednesday, as he surrendered four runs and
seven hits in 5 1/3 frames.
Amazingly, it was his best outing of the season.
Liriano has faced the Angels six times (five starts) and is 1-3 with a 7.48
The Angels have won four of six against the Twins this season. This, though,
is the final series between the teams this year.
05/07 10:32:23 ET