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Angels Ascend Over Twins 8-3

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(credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

(credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jered Weaver allowed three hits over six innings in his first start since no-hitting the Twins last week to lead the Los Angeles Angels to an 8-3 victory over Minnesota on Monday night.

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.

Francisco Liriano (0-5) gave up four runs on five hits in five innings with three walks and four strikeouts for the Twins.

Albert 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.

Coming off of the first no-hitter of his career, a 121-pitch, nine-strikeout masterpiece in his hometown against the overmatched Twins, Weaver was relaxed in the clubhouse before the game, the picture of California cool.

With his dirty blonde hair flowing, Weaver rocked back in his chair and joked with Dan Haren and Ervin Santana before trying to become just the second pitcher in big league history to throw consecutive no-hitters.

Against the ghastly Twins lineup that was missing sluggers Josh Willingham (illness) and Justin Morneau (wrist), anything was possible. They entered the game with just 14 hits and five runs total in their previous five games.

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.

Cincinnati’s Johnny Vander Meer remains the only person to throw back-to-back no-hitters. He did it back in 1938 against the Boston Bees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

Weaver’s pitch count steadily rose after the first three innings, but he held the Twins to one run on a fielder’s choice by Denard Span after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth. The run ended Weaver’s scoreless streak at 21 innings, but that was the only down spot for him on Monday night.

He left with a 4-1 lead, thanks to an RBI groundout from Pujols in the first, a two-run homer from Callaspo in the third and a sacrifice fly from Peter Bourjos in the fourth.

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.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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