ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two years after Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter against them, the Angels’ ace is still a nightmare for the Minnesota Twins.
Albert Pujols and Mike Trout drove in two runs apiece, Weaver pitched seven strong innings, and Los Angeles swept the Twins with a 6-4 victory Thursday.
Weaver (8-6) yielded eight hits — all singles — and struck out six in another dominant start against the Twins. The right-hander has given up one run in 24 innings while striking out 24 in his last three home meetings with the Twins.
“Offensively, we didn’t do too much,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Weaver was like we’ve seen him before. In this ballpark, we all know it’s tough to see the ball in day games, and he made it tough on us.”
Weaver improved to 7-0 in eight career starts against Minnesota, striking out the side on 12 pitches in the first inning and rarely struggling until the sixth. He snapped a three-start winless streak with plenty of offense from his teammates, who beat up Twins starter Ricky Nolasco for six runs and 11 hits.
Nolasco (4-6) pitched into the seventh inning of his fourth straight winless start, and Pujols improved to 12 for 22 in his career against him.
Joe Mauer hit a three-run double with two outs in the ninth for the Twins, who followed a four-game sweep of the White Sox by getting swept in Anaheim. Mauer and Chris Parmelee had three hits apiece, but Minnesota yielded 32 hits in the three-game series.
“They’ve got some good hitters,” Gardenhire said of the Angels. “Those big boys come up in big situations, and they can do some things.”
After Minnesota loaded the bases against Ernesto Frieri in the ninth, Mauer cleared them with a two-strike double off Joe Smith, who then struck out Kendrys Morales for his seventh save.
Pujols had three hits and Josh Hamilton drove in a run to help the Angels win their season-best sixth straight and move a season-high 11 games over .500 (44-33).
“We’ve been playing really good the past couple of weeks,” Pujols said. “You just need to take advantage of a stretch. It doesn’t matter where you win as long as you get those wins. We’re playing great at home, but we’ll take them in any stadium.”
Trout had two doubles, including a two-run drive down the left-field line in the seventh, during the Angels’ 15th win in their last 17 games in Anaheim, where they have the majors’ best home record. Los Angeles swept Texas and Minnesota to complete its first unbeaten homestand with at least six games since May 2004.
“We’re starting to do some of the things we can do on the offensive side, and we’ve got to keep it rolling,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Albert, when he’s swinging it well, he’s going to square balls up like that. He got some big hits and got us going.”
Pujols singled home Kole Calhoun in the first inning and stole second when Minnesota didn’t hold him on the bag. Pujols then scored when Pedro Florimon lost Erick Aybar’s popup in the sun behind third base.
Florimon is filling in for rookie shortstop Danny Santana, who injured his left knee while running out a double in Wednesday’s loss. An MRI exam Thursday revealed a bone bruise in Santana’s knee, but the Twins don’t know whether he’ll go on the disabled list.
“We’re not sure which way we’re going to go,” Gardenhire said. “He’s not moving very well.”
The Angels added two more runs in the third on back-to-back doubles by Trout and Pujols, followed by Hamilton’s RBI single.
NOTES: Pujols’ third-inning double was the 541st of his career, tying the three-time NL MVP with Rogers Hornsby for 30th on baseball’s career list. … Angels 2B Howie Kendrick has a 10-game hitting streak. … Minnesota recalled INF Jorge Polanco from Single-A Fort Myers. The 20-year-old prospect joined the Twins in time for Thursday’s game and made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, drawing a four-pitch walk from Frieri.
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