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News & Notes: Can Ervin Santana return the Angels' magic?

Big League Stew

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A few items to peruse while your kicks of silence cough into your room ...

Day Baseball! Red Sox at Angels, 3:35 ET Is today the unofficial restart of Los Angeles' 2009 season? Ervin Santana(notes), who was 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA in '08, makes his return to the mound in this rubber match with the BoSox. He'll face big Brad Penny(notes), who's 3-1 with a 6.90 ERA.

• Rotation mate John Lackey(notes) will then make his first start of the season on Saturday against the Rangers, freeing up a DL that has been way too crowded for the Halos this year. [Long Beach Press-Telegram]

• The Red Sox are deep and can lose someone at pretty much every position except two: Dustin Pedroia(notes) and Kevin Youkilis(notes). [Red Sox Monster]

Day Baseball! Dodgers and Phillies, 1:05 If you don't have a horse running in any of the seven afternon games today, here's the matchup to watch: Chad Billingsley(notes) v. Cole Hamels(notes) in the series' decisive contest. If Hamels is looking to continue getting his season back on track, the Dodgers aren't a bad team to face. He was 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA against Los Angeles in 2008, including two wins in the NLCS.

• Here's a big BLS head nod to Ryan Zimmerman(notes), who hit in 30 straight games and allowed the Nats their first positive story in what seems like eons. [Washington Post]

• The guys dressed like umpires behind the plate at last night's Blue Jays-Yankees game should be given season tickets for the rest of the season. [HHR]

• Hey, the Reds are tied for first place in the NL Central! [The Real McCoy]

• The Brewers have called up young Mat Gamel(notes) and will use him off the bench and maybe give him a start here or there to get him ready for interleague DH duty. [Brew Crew Ball]

Day Baseball! Marlins at Brewers, 1:05 Did Florida starter Josh Johnson(notes) get the Rowengartner treatment during Tommy John surgery? Since returning last July, Johnson is 10-1 with a 3.15 ERA in 21 starts. He's 3-0 with a 2.34 this year.

• Was Ricky Nolasco's(notes) 2008 season a fluke? [Sun Sentinel]

Day Baseball! Tigers at Twins, 1:10; Mariners at Rangers, 2:05; Padres at Cubs, 2:20; Astros at Rockies, 3:10 Don't even tell me you'll be bored this afternoon.

• "Dear Jeff Niemann(notes), you probably don't know me, and I don't personally know you, but we have an issue. Please stop using your fastball so much." [DRaysBay]

• "Dear Scott Kazimir, can you please pass the cotton candy?" [Bugs & Cranks]

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