Twins fall to Angels 8-3, 12th loss in 14 games
By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins showed some improvement this time around against Angels ace Jered Weaver: They made him work to get through six innings and did not let him join Johnny Vander Meer as the only pitchers in big league history to throw consecutive no-hitters.
The sad thing for the Twins is that even with some improvement, they still didn't stand a chance.
Weaver allowed three hits over six innings in his first start since no-hitting the Twins last week to lead Los Angeles to an 8-3 victory on Monday night.
"It's kind of the same story every day," Jamey Carroll said.
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.
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. They've lost 12 of their last 14 games and have plummeted to 7-21 on the season.
Francisco Liriano (0-5) gave up four runs on five hits in five innings with three walks and four strikeouts for the Twins.
"It's tough because we come here every day positive and we go out there and play as hard as we can and give it everything we got out there," Liriano said. "It seems like nothing's working for us."
Joe Mauer broke an 0-for-12 skid with an RBI single in the eighth, but the Twins were behind early again thanks to another shaky start. The Twins entire starting rotation has four victories, one fewer than Weaver has all by himself.
The Twins scored just one run after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth and have managed to scratch together just 20 hits in their last six games.
"We definitely had better at-bats against him and made him work a little bit harder, but he found a way to get out of a couple of jams," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's what these guys that win all these games are all about. They find a way, even when they may not have their best stuff."
No matter what Liriano tries, he continues to look lost on the mound.
Albert Pujols got the Angels on the board with a groundout in the first inning and Liriano hung a slider to Callaspo for a two-run homer in the third inning. He was down 4-0 after four, and once again failed to reach the sixth inning.
"Keep running him out there," Gardenhire said. "We can only change so many starters. We don't have enough people to change all your starters. Frankie's got to get it done. He's got to figure it out."
Pujols went 1 for 5 with two RBIs 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.
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.
"It felt good, especially off a guy who was one of the best in the game," Komatsu said. "It's going to be a battle. You just try and battle and stick to a plan and trust it."
Cincinnati's Vander Meer remains the only person to throw back-to-back no-hitters. He did it in 1938 against the Boston Bees and Brooklyn Dodgers.
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. Manager Mike 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.
Updated May 8, 2012