Before Jered Weaver's first career no-hitter on Wednesday night, May 2 already had a special place in the numerical and narrative accounts of those games dominated by pitching.
Exactly 95 years before Weaver authored the 267th no-hitter in Major League history, Cincinnati's Fred Toney and Chicago's Hippo Vaughn dueled and dueled and dueled to see if one of them could author the 80th no-no in our national pastime. Competing at Wrigley Field (then still known as Weeghman Park), the right-handed Toney and the southpaw Vaughn found themselves matched up in a volley of dueling zeroes. And after nine innings, each had his no-hitter intact.
In the top of the 10th, the Reds finally got to Vaughn, with shortstop Larry Kopf getting a single and eventually scoring. Toney returned to the hill in the bottom of the 10th, struck out Larry Doyle to open the half-frame, caught a break when the second out was made on a leaping catch at the left-field wall, and then fanned Cy Williams to get his no-no.
And thus one of baseball's most tense and magnificent pitching duels came to a close, and May 2nd had its first no-hitter.
Weaver threw the second no-hitter of the season Wednesday, striking out nine Twins and walking one batter in a 9-0 win. Weaver's no-hitter was the 10th in Angels history, the second in as many years for the club, and the 118th in American League history.
No-hitters by Angels pitchers since the club's inception in 1961
May 5, 1962
July 3, 1970
May 15, 1973
July 15, 1973
Sept. 28, 1974
June 1, 1975
Sept. 30, 1984
Apr. 11, 1990
July 27, 2011
May 2, 2012
* Perfect game
Weaver's no-hitter produced a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of 95. That game score was the fourth highest for an Angels pitcher in a no-hitter. On July 15, 1973, Nolan Ryan (17 strikeouts, four walks) authored a score of 100. Mike Witt's perfect game produced a score of 97 (Witt had 10 K's) and Ryan's no-hitter on May 15, 1973 produced a game score of 96.
Weaver's previous high for a game score was an 88, which also came against the Twins. On May 28, 2011, he allowed two hits over nine shutout innings, struck out seven and walked two, but he didn't factor into the decision as the Twins beat the Angels, 1-0, in 10 innings.
Weaver's game score was the highest for an Angels pitcher since John Lackey threw a one-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and no walks on July 7, 2006. That game also produced a score of 95.
Carlos Beltran homered twice and drove in seven runs in the Cardinals' 12-3 win over the Pirates.
Beltran has 31 career multihomer games, tying him with Eddie Murray for the fourth most in history for a switch-hitter. Mickey Mantle had 46, Chipper Jones has 39, and Mark Teixeira has 34.
Beltran, who set a career high with the seven RBIs, is the first switch-hitter to collect that many in a game since the Rays' Ben Zobrist had eight in the first game of a doubleheader last April 28. Beltran is the first Cardinals switch-hitter with at least seven RBIs since Mark Whiten drove in 12 as part of his four-homer game on Sept. 7, 1993.
Wednesday's game marked the fifth time Beltran had driven in at least six runs. That total, since 1920, is the fourth most for any switch-hitter. Teixeira has seven of these games, while Eddie Murray and Jorge Posada each had six.
Chipper Jones' eighth career walk-off home run -- a two-run shot in the bottom of the 11th -- ended a wild affair between the Braves and Phillies in which the teams combined for 36 hits, 28 runs, 14 pitchers used and 395 pitches thrown in Atlanta's 15-13 win.
With the Braves collecting 19 hits and the Phillies having 17, this game marked the third time this season in which both teams had at least 17. Last season, there was one game like this, and in 2010, there were none.
The Braves erased a 6-0 deficit against Roy Halladay with a six-run fifth inning. It marked the first time Halladay had allowed six runs in an inning since May 10, 2007, when the Red Sox tagged him for six in the third.
Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Giambi hit a three-run home run to give the Rockies an 8-5 walk-off win over the Dodgers.
Giambi has eight game-ending home runs, tying him for the fifth most among active players. Jim Thome has 12 (which is also tied for the all-time record), David Ortiz and Albert Pujols each have 10, Alex Rodriguez has nine and Giambi is tied with Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Jones.
Since 2008, Giambi has 23 hits in 90 at-bats as a pinch-hitter, and has hit seven home runs in that role. The seven pinch-hit homers are tied with Brooks Conrad for the second most over that span, behind the 11 by Matt Stairs.
Here and there
Edwin Encarnacion became the sixth player in Blue Jays history to hit at least nine home runs through the team's first 25 games. Carlos Delgado had 10 in 2001, and Encarnacion joins Joe Carter (1994), Ed Sprague ('96), Shawn Green ('99) and Vernon Wells (2006) in the group with nine.
Wandy Rodriguez allowed one run in seven innings and improved to 3-2 for the season in the Astros' 8-1 win over the Mets. Since 2009, the Astros lefy has pitched 31 games in which he's finished with at least seven innings and no more than one run allowed. Those 31 tie him with CC Sabathia for the eighth most in the Majors. Felix Hernandez has the most such starts, with 41.
Jake Arrieta struck out nine, walked none and allowed five hits in eight scoreless innings to lead the Orioles to a 5-0 shutout vs. the Yankees. Arrieta has a pair of starts this season in which he has gone at least seven innings and not allowed a run. He is the fifth O's pitcher in the past 30 seasons to have two such starts through the team's first 25 games, joining Rick Sutcliffe (1992), Mike Mussina ('93 and '99) and Erik Bedard (2005).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.