Angels' Weaver hurls no-no

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Angels' Weaver hurls no-no

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Jered Weaver pitched the second no-hitter in the majors in less than two weeks, completely overmatching Minnesota and leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-0 win over the Twins on Wednesday night.

Weaver struck out nine and walked one. The Twins never came close to getting a hit against the All-Star right-hander.

"It was an easy ride," Weaver said.

Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game at Seattle on April 21.

Weaver (4-0), a California native who played at Long Beach State, began the ninth by quickly retiring Jamey Carroll on a routine fly and striking out Denard Span looking.

Weaver then got Alexi Casilla to lift a long fly that right fielder Torii Hunter easily caught at the warning track. The Angels' ace watched his Gold Glove outfielder make the play, and put his hands on his head as the Angels rushed out to mob him.

"Spiderman out there. I knew he had a bead on it," Weaver said of Hunter. "Casilla put a charge in it and Spiderman tracked it down."

An inning earlier, Weaver and his teammates could only hope when Trevor Plouffe lined a shot that hooked foul a few feet before reaching the left-field foul pole.

After that, Weaver finished off the Twins in fast order.

His gem complete, Weaver hugged his wife, his dad and his mom, who was crying on the field.

"I was locked in for the most part," he said. "My mom, dad, wife, this was awesome."

Weaver will soon get a chance to do it again against the Twins - his next start is scheduled for Monday at Minnesota.

"I'm at a loss for words right now. It hasn't kicked in yet," he said. "Thank you for all your support. Couldn't have done it without the defense. The guys were picking me up left and right."

This was the second Angels no-hitter in less than a year - Ervin Santana pitched one July 27 at Cleveland - and the 10th for the Angels franchise, including four by Nolan Ryan.

Weaver threw 121 pitches, and the cheers from the crowd of 27,288 kept growing louder.

"Fastball command was good. Able to fill up the zone get some early strikes," Weaver said.

"This is so surreal I can't even believe this," he said.

Only one Minnesota batter reached base through the first seven innings, and that was when catcher Chris Iannetta committed a passed ball on strike three to Chris Parmelee with two out in the second. Josh Willingham drew the only walk Weaver allowed with two outs in the seventh.

"He dominated us, there's no question about it," Span said. "He was doing everything. He kept us off-balance, changed speeds and finished strong."

The no-hitter was the highlight for a 29-year-old pitcher who has already compiled quite a resume.

Weaver finished second in the AL Cy Young voting last year after going 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA. He and winner Justin Verlander were the only pitchers listed on every ballot.

Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick homered to back Weaver, not that he needed much support.

The Angels' three-game sweep of the Twins included a complete-game three-hit shutout on Tuesday night by Jerome Williams, who retired 18 of his last 19 batters.

The Twins haven't had a hit in the last 15 innings.

It was the first time the Angels had back-to-back complete game wins since 1993 when Chuck Finley and Mark Langston did it.

The Angels built a 6-0 lead against Australian-born Liam Hendriks (0-2).

NOTES: Kendrick hit his fourth homer of the season and drove in three runs.

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Cubs: Miguel Montero and Joe Maddon finally make peace

Cubs: Miguel Montero and Joe Maddon finally make peace

MESA, Ariz. – Over red wine, Miguel Montero and Joe Maddon ended their cold war on Monday night, dining at Andreoli Italian Grocer and vowing to work together as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title.  
 
The Montero-Maddon dynamic had been one of the awkward, lingering storylines in a feel-good camp after the veteran catcher questioned the star manager's communication skills and in-game decisions during a WMVP-AM 1000 interview – on the same day as the championship parade and Grant Park rally.

"I got a lot off my chest," Montero said Tuesday. "I care so much for the game. I care so much for the team. I'm here to win. And it's hard when you have that (weight) on your shoulders.
 
"I've never been a cancer (anywhere) that I played for all these years. And I'm not planning to be one of those guys."
 
Maddon requested the dinner meeting – quality assurance coach/ex-player Henry Blanco joined the peace summit as a neutral third party – while Montero picked the Scottsdale restaurant and suggested posting a photo of them toasting drinks on his Twitter account.  
 
"I want to let the people know that it's going to be a great year," Montero said.  

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Montero said he slept so much better that night and showed up for work at the Sloan Park complex the next morning with a new energy level. Montero, a two-time All-Star, stressed that he understands his role as a $14 million backup and a mentor to young catcher Willson Contreras. Montero offered to continue helping police the clubhouse – in exchange for Maddon keeping him more in the loop.   
 
"Whatever it takes me to help him," Montero said. "I was true with him when I said: ‘If you feel Willson needs a break and it's (Clayton) Kershaw pitching for the other team, put me in, I'm fine.'
 
"That's my job and I accept it. Just count on me for whatever. If we need to send a message out there to the players, I'm here for you, too. I can help you on that.
 
"If I do something that you don't like, just let me know. Just chew me out, whatever, I don't care. I'll take it like a man. It was a great time."
 
Montero had already told reporters that his comments on the radio weren't simply complaining about his own individual situation. Montero also spoke up for teammates frustrated by a perceived lack of communication and uncertainty over roles, though those behind-the-scenes issues appear to be cooling for now.
 
"We have a special team," Montero said. "We have a legitimate chance to win another championship. So in order to do that, we need to be together here. And I think we are now – and we're going to stay that way."

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He maybe doesn't receive the same hype as some of his peers, but the White Sox think Reynaldo Lopez deserves plenty of attention.

A highly-touted prospect for two seasons now, Lopez took a big leap forward in a 2016 season that resulted in two promotions, including a trip to the big leagues.

While Michael Kopech and Lucas Giolito have garnered much of the attention, Lopez, who was acquired with Giolito in the Adam Eaton trade, is right on their heels if not equal. Lopez -- who produced a 3.21 ERA in 19 minor-league starts last season and struck out 42 batters in 44 innings in the majors -- is rated the No. 31 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and 38th by MLB.com.

"He's looked good from the get-go," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "The bottom line is we like all three of them. I didn't hear a lot (about him). When people are asking me questions it's usually about Giolito and Kopech. I'm not sure why because he's a gifted kid. He's got some stuff."

Lopez, 23, already has pitched in 11 regular season games (six starts) and made a playoff appearance. He earned those outings by excelling in a season that began at Double-A Harrisburg. Two seasons after he put up outstanding numbers at Single-A, Lopez dominated the Eastern League with 100 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings and 3.18 ERA. He attributes his success to calming himself down in game situations.

"I just kept my focus in the game," Lopez said through an interpreter. "Before, I thought a lot about things and I couldn't think. And then I realized to keep my focus on the game. Sometimes if someone hit me or something, my mind got stuck in that moment. But then I understood you have to have a short memory and just let the things that are happening (be) in the past and focus on what's happening."

Lopez, 23, said he has taken the same approach to handling his trade to the White Sox. The right-hander admits he was shocked at first when he heard he was traded by the Washington Nationals, who signed him for $17,000 in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic.

But the more he thought about it, Lopez realized how good of an opportunity he has in front of him with the rebuilding White Sox. The club intends to try Lopez out as a starter --- there's debate among scouting analysts whether he's meant for the bullpen or rotation --- at Triple-A Charlotte this season. Asked what he prefers, Lopez said he's a starter.

And rather than try to impress the club by overthrowing a fastball that MLB.com graded 70 on the 20-80 scale, Lopez has worked on location early in camp. Those efforts haven't gone unnoticed by Cooper and manager Rick Renteria.

"Lopez is a guy who maybe goes under the radar a little bit, but when you see his bullpen work, he's pretty clean, pretty efficient," Renteria said. "He hits his spots."

Through four throwing sessions, Cooper said he likes how Lopez has located his fastball and curveball. Cooper thinks the changeup, which is the lowest graded of his three pitches (45 out of 80), is where the most work is needed. But Cooper is pleased with how Lopez has worked in the bullpen and batting practice and looks forward to seeing how it carries over once the exhibition season begins.

Lopez likes how he has fit in with the White Sox through the first week and a half. An aggressive pitcher by nature --- "I like to get ahead in the count," he said --- Lopez has tried to work down in the zone in the early part of camp. He said that was one of his main takeaways from pitching in the majors.

"I learned a lot from that experience," Lopez said. "I learned how to pitch. It's not just throw hard. You have to locate your pitches and be smart. I think that was the most important thing for me, from that experience."