Jered Weaver’s bid for back-to-back no-hitters lasted into the third inning Monday night, when, after a leadoff walk, Minnesota’s Erik Komatsu singled on the 10th pitch of his at-bat. Weaver ended up allowing one run and three hits over six innings in the Angels’ 8-3 victory.
Komatsu had two of the hits, his first two since joining the Twins.
Weaver, who threw 121 pitches in thew no-hitter five days ago, was given the quick hook tonight with the Angels up 5-1 after 6 1/2 innings. He threw 89 pitches, 53 of them strikes. He finished with just two strikeouts after entering the game with 45 K’s in 44 2/3 innings on the season.
But while Weaver might not have been quite at his best tonight, he was good enough. He’s allowed just one run in his last three starts, lowering his ERA to 1.60, and he’s 5-0 on the season.
So, yeah, it’s probably still a thousand-to-one shot, but in his rematch with the Twins tonight, Jered Weaver would seem to be better set up for back-to-back no-hitters than any pitcher in memory.
Here’s how tonight’s Twins lineup has hit right-handers this season:
CF Denard Span – .321
SS Brian Dozier – MLB debut (.316 in Triple-A)
C Joe Mauer – .214
DH Ryan Doumit – .269
3B Danny Valencia – .210
1B Chris Parmelee – .189
LF Trevor Plouffe – .056 (1-for-18)
RF Erik Komatsu – .125 (3-for-24)
2B Jamey Carroll – .186
That’s certainly a no-hittable lineup. Josh Willingham, who is hitting .300 against righties, isn’t playing, which can’t hurt Weaver’s chances.
For what it’s worth, the players above are a combined 18-for-91 against Weaver, good for a .198 average. Mauer, with a .280 average, and Valencia, who has two homers and a single in 12 at-bats, have hit him best.
Three weeks ago the Twins claimed Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers and gave him the fourth outfielder job, sending Ben Revere back to Triple-A for some additional seasoning.
Thomas homered in his second at-bat for Minnesota … and then went 3-for-26 with 16 strikeouts, and today the Twins designated him for assignment while claiming a new backup outfielder, Erik Komatsu, off waivers from the Cardinals.
St. Louis selected Komatsu from Washington in the Rule 5 draft and before that the Nationals acquired him from the Brewers for Jerry Hairston, so this is the 24-year-old’s fourth team in about 10 months. It’s also worth noting that the Twins had the No. 2 pick in that Rule 5 draft and passed on Komatsu to take Terry Doyle from the White Sox, only to offer him back in mid-March.
Komatsu doesn’t project as a regular, but he can play all three outfield spots and has good speed with a .389 career on-base percentage in the minors. He’ll fill the same role as Thomas.
UPDATE: As expected, the Cardinals activated Craig from the DL. Rule 5 pick Erik Komatsu was designated for assignment to make room on the roster.
Allen Craig is slated to return from November knee surgery and rejoin the Cardinals’ lineup tonight, several weeks later than initially hoped.
Despite the delay Craig told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the added time off allowed his knee to truly get healthy and stronger, saying: “I feel good out there right now. I’m ready to play.”
And it showed during his minor-league rehab assignment, as Craig destroyed Single-A and Triple-A pitching for a .357 batting average and three homers in seven games, posting a 1.058 OPS.
That includes a pair of homers and five RBIs in his final rehab outing on Monday, at which point the Cardinals decided it was time to bring him back. Lance Berkman’s calf injury means there’s room for Allen Craig at first base, although that also means rookie Matt Carpenter will lose playing time despite hitting well as Berkman’s initial replacement.
Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay was said to be day-to-day after running into the Busch Stadium outfield wall on Thursday afternoon. But it is not a certainty that he’s going to avoid the disabled list.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jay was sent back to St. Louis before Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh after failing to make it through an early-morning workout that included batting practice. As Strauss puts it, “Jay told coaches and teammates he experienced discomfort extending through the ball.”
The Cardinals will rely on guys like Skip Schumaker, Erik Komatsu and Shane Robinson in center field while Jay is sidelined. Schumaker left Friday’s game after slamming into the outfield wall at PNC Park but only suffered mild soreness. Komatsu is 3-for-16 (.188) this season and Robinson is 7-for-20 (.350).
Jay, 27, is sporting a stellar .349/.391/.535 slash line with two home runs in 46 plate appearances this year.