The rule is that it doesn’t go into the books as a no-no if the visiting team no-hits the home team for eight innings in a game the home team wins without batting in the bottom of the ninth. There are all kinds of rules, such as rain-shortened games, extra-inning games, etc. But basically, the only way to get credit for a no-hitter is to no-hit a team for at least nine innings and win the game. This is the first one of these in the majors since Matt Young did it for Boston at Cleveland on April 12, 1992, with the Indians winning 2-1. By that time, Young had been converted into a serviceable starter, several years after he had been a horrendous closer for the Dodgers. … Anyhoo, what got lost in the way Jered Weaver pitched tonight was the fact that Chad Billingsley absolutely DOMINATED in what statistically was his best outing of the season. This marked the third time he has thrown seven shutout innings, all three of them coming in the past six weeks, but he allowed four hits each of the first two times. Tonight, he allowed only three, and struck out seven. He did walk three, but obviously, none of them came back to haunt him. He was helped by two spectacular plays in RF by Andre Ethier, one a running grab of a ball hit up the gap by Howie Kendrick with a man on first in the seventh inning, taking away what probably would have been an RBI double. He also made a great play to cut off a ball that was heading toward the corner in the sixth and gunned down Erick Aybar trying to stretch it into a double. Then, in the ninth, Luis Maza, who had just entered defensively for Jeff Kent to start the inning, made an unbelievable diving stop of a grounder to his left by Casey Kotchman, and Maza needed every inch of stretch he could get out of his body and his arms to get to it. He got up and threw Kotchman out. … Also lost in all the oddities of this game was the fact the Dodgers have now won an interleague series for just the second time in the past three seasons, and they also won their first series against any team other than the Cincinnati Reds since taking two of three at Milwaukee May 13-15. First back-to-back shutouts for the boys since May 29-30, 2007, with both of those coming at Washington. … Dodgers improve to 38-42 and stay 2 1/2 behind the Snakes.
He pitched 2 2/3 innings, gave up a run (earned) on three hits, walked two and struck out one. Left with Vegas leading 4-1 over Fresno. Threw 45 pitches, right on schedule. We’ll probably find out what the next step is tomorrow morning, but at this point, I can’t imagine it’s anything other than him making another rehab start for the 51s in a few days.
… unless he feels some sort of residual negative effect from the 45-pitch simulated game he pitched today, which was split into three “innings.” Rafael Furcal, Danny Ardoin, Andruw Jones and Mark Sweeney all took turns taking their cuts, and Kuroda looked good. .. As for Brad Penny, he is probably going to throw a similar simulated game (trying saying that three times quickly) sometime during the Houston series, although there still is a slim chance he could be sent on a minor-league rehab, something manager Joe Torre said he would rather not do. Guessing if the sim game goes well, Penny would come off the DL and return by the start of the next homestand a week from Monday if not sooner. … Update on bullpen coach Ken Howell, who is hospitalized: he is being administered antibiotics for a foot infection, which is believed to be diabetes-related. He will remain at University Hospital for now and will not make the Dodgers’ trip to Houston and San Francisco. Triple-A Las Vegas pitching coach Jim Slaton, who grew up in the Antelope Valley and informed me in spring training that his parents are avid Daily News readers, will fill in for Howell until he returns.