Held hitless, Dodgers still win
Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo pursued history on the wrong night, their combined eight no-hit innings wiped away by the Angels’ own inability to score.
The Angels hit the midway point of the season Saturday night with a cruel reminder of their offensive inadequacies, holding the Dodgers to no hits but dropping the second game of the latest installment of the Freeway Series, 1-0, at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers became only the fifth team in the modern era of baseball to win a game without getting a hit. The last team to do it was Cleveland, which was no-hit by Matt Young of Boston for eight innings but won, 2-1, on April 12, 1992.
“This is pretty bizarre,” Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said.
Talk about there being no margin for error.
The difference in the game was a fifth-inning run by Matt Kemp, made entirely possible by Weaver’s inability to pick up a slow-rolling grounder and catcher Jeff Mathis’ errant throw that sailed into center field on a stolen-base attempt.
For his six no-hit innings, Weaver (7-8) was rewarded with a loss. Because the Dodgers didn’t hit in the ninth, he and Arredondo weren’t credited with a no-hitter.
“This is definitely the craziest game,” Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. “I’ve never been part of a game where you give up no hits and have five hits and you can’t get it done.”
The Angels were blanked for the second night in a row, this time by Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito. Billingsley followed up Chan Ho Park’s six scoreless innings Friday night by putting up seven zeros and limiting the Angels to three hits and three walks. He struck out seven.
Billingsley (7-7) helped cut short Weaver’s night, as Manager Mike Scioscia opted to pinch-hit for the right-hander in the seventh with two out and Gary Matthews Jr. at second. Chone Figgins grounded out to short to end the threat.
Asked whether any part of him sympathized with Weaver, Billingsley laughed.
“No,” he said.
He paused, and then continued, “I don’t want to ever experience that.”
The result had no effect on the standings, the Dodgers remaining 2 1/2 games back of first-place Arizona in the National League West and the first-place Angels 3 1/2 ahead of Oakland in the American League West. For the Angels, the loss sealed their first series loss since they were swept by Tampa Bay on May 9-11.
Weaver cruised through the first four innings, encountering trouble in the fifth only when he failed to snag a slow-rolling grounder toward first base hit by Kemp.
With Blake DeWitt at the plate, Kemp bolted for second, taking advantage of Weaver’s slow delivery. Mathis’ throw to second sailed high and into center field, allowing Kemp to take third.
“I knew he had a high leg kick and that I could be aggressive,” Kemp said.
DeWitt said he saw Kemp out of the corner of his eye, adding, “I was taking no matter what.”
DeWitt drove the next pitch to right field and Kemp tagged up and scored.
“Obviously, it stings a little bit, but any time you lose, it hurts,” Weaver said. “I’m sure you guys are going to eat this up more than I am.”
Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier made a couple of key defensive plays, gunning down Erick Aybar at second base when Aybar was trying to turn a single into a double in the sixth and snagging a hard-hit line drive by Howie Kendrick that was hit to right-center field in the seventh.
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Four times in major league history, a visiting team’s pitcher(s) have given up no hits but not been credited with a no-hitter because they pitched only eight innings:
June 21, 1890 -- Charles “Silver” King, Chicago (Players League)
lost to Brooklyn, 1-0
July 1, 1990 -- Andy Hawkins,
New York Yankees, lost to Chicago White Sox, 4-0.
April 12, 1992 -- Matt Young, Boston, lost to Cleveland, 2-1.
June 28, 2008 -- Jered Weaver (6) and Jose Arredondo (2), Angels,
lost to Dodgers, 1-0.
Source: Los Angeles Times