Weaver Gives Up 2 Hits, Angels Beat Twins 1-0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Pitching in a tight game helped Jered Weaver concentrate even more than he usually does.
Weaver outdueled Mike Pelfrey with eight innings of two-hit ball after Albert Pujols drove in a first-inning run, and the Los Angeles Angels beat Minnesota 1-0 on Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep by the Twins.
"With the score 1-0, you try to focus a little more on executing pitches because you know that one bad pitch can hurt you -- especially in a day game with the wind blowing out," Weaver said. "You have to be a little more focused in on what you have to do. Obviously, you're going to pitch a little differently in a 1-0 game than you are in a 4-0 game."
Weaver (5-5) struck out nine and walked one in his first home start against the Twins since his no-hitter on May 2, 2012. The three-time All-Star retired 19 consecutive batters during one stretch -- just four days after teammate C.J. Wilson set down 18 in a row against Oakland.
Weaver improved to 8-2 lifetime against the Twins with a 3.28 ERA. Doug Bernier, a 33-year-old rookie who got his first major league hit and RBI on Monday, singled on an 0-2 pitch with one out in the first. The Twins didn't get another runner until Ryan Doumit walked on four pitches with two out in the seventh, and rookie Aaron Hicks singled with two out in the eighth.
"He was the No. 1 they needed him to be," Minnesota's Justin Morneau said. "We came in here winning the first two, and he beat us. We got his pitch count up a little bit early, but he settled in like most of the number one's do. He changed speeds really well and got ahead in the count. And when he works ahead, he makes that off-speed stuff more effective."
Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his 25th save in 27 chances, less than 24 hours after giving up five runs including a grand slam by Chris Herrmann in the 10th inning of the Angels' 10-3 loss. The right-hander ended it by striking out Herrmann with runners at the corners.
Frieri walked his first batter, then hit Bernier with an 0-2 pitch before Morneau came up and hit a not-too-high popup between the mound and first base. Frieri let it drop and started a double play by throwing to first base. Bernier ended up in a rundown and was tagged out by first baseman Mark Trumbo as Clete Thomas advanced to third. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire came out and complained to plate umpire Mike Muchlinski that is should have been ruled an infield fly.
Pelfrey (4-8) pitched six innings and allowed five hits, including Pujols' run-scoring single in the first.
"He really deserved to win that game today, but we didn't score any runs for him," Morneau said. "These last few starts he's really been throwing the ball well after coming off the DL. Today he had a little more velocity. I think that maybe that little bit of rest was what he needed. It's something he can build on and get some confidence out of that."
The right-hander is 1-5 with a 4.64 ERA in his last 12 starts. His only victory during that stretch was July 6, when he pitched six innings of 3-hit ball in a 6-0 win at Toronto.
"Those first two months were brutal months," Pelfrey said. "But I feel like I'm back to what I used to be. So it's exciting for me. And hopefully I'll continue to get better. My fastball was really good today. The velocity was there and the movement was there. I was locating on both sides of the plate. If you go in to righties, then it opens it up to go away."
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