The Angels called up Santana, one of their top pitching prospects, from Double-A Arkansas to fill in for Kelvim Escobar, who is expected to miss at least two starts with an injured elbow.
“We feel like he’s ready,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Santana. “His talent is eye popping. He’s got the whole package, it’s just a matter of execution.”
The 22-year-old right-hander was signed by Los Angeles as a free agent in 2000 and has made steady progress in the organization. He went 10-2 with a sparkling 2.53 ERA at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2003, but missed half of last season at Arkansas with an elbow injury.
Santana has bounced back so far this season, going 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts.
“What we’ve seen is he has very good stuff and he’s been very consistent,” Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said. “We’ll see how he does and we’ll go from there.”
In the Angels’ 3-1 win on Monday, Donnelly gave up one run in the eighth and Shields pitched a perfect ninth for his third save as starter Paul Byrd improved to 5-0 in his career against the Indians.
Garret Anderson drove in two runs for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last six games overall, and 14 of its last 19 at Jacobs Field, including four straight.
Grady Sizemore went 2-for-3 and drove in the lone run for the Indians, who entered the game batting a major league-low .235. Cleveland has lost two straight following a season-high three-game winning streak.
STANDINGS): Angels - 1st place, AL West. Indians - 4th place, 10 GB, AL Central.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Santana (no record). Santana is 37-16 with a 3.49 ERA in 82 career minor league games. He has 470 strikeouts to just 176 walks over 461 1-3 innings.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Scott Elarton (0-2, 7.47 ERA). Elarton’s struggles continued in a 6-1 defeat to Texas on May 7 as he allowed six runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings in losing his second decision in three outings. The 6-foot-8 right-hander lost his lone career start against the Angels, giving up six runs and 10 hits over six innings in a 10-5 defeat on Sept. 3.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Angels - Vladimir Guerrero, .317 avg., 7 HRs and 24 runs; Anderson, 31 RBIs; Chone Figgins, 12 SBs. Indians - Sizemore, .279 avg.; Coco Crisp, 23 runs and 6 SBs; Ron Belliard and Casey Blake, 6 HRs; Travis Hafner, 16 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Angels, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - The California Assembly approved a bill on Monday that would require the Angels to disclose on their tickets, ads and other promotional material that their home is in Anaheim. The team changed its name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in January to attract more fans, advertisers and broadcast contracts. Anaheim is challenging the name change in court, contending it violates terms of the stadium’s lease agreement. … The Indians are the only major league team OF Guerrero has faced and not homered against in his career. … SS Orlando Cabrera is 0-for-11 in his career against RHP Elarton. Indians - C Victor Martinez is 1-for-19 over his last five games. … SS Jhonny Peralta’s career-high eight-game hitting streak ended Monday. … The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on Monday from five people arrested for burning a 3-foot effigy of Chief Wahoo, an Indians logo, at the stadium on opening day 1998.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 12-7 on the road. Indians - 5-10 at home.
INJURIES: Angels - RHP Escobar (elbow), 15-day DL; INF Maicer Izturis (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Bret Prinz (shoulder), 15-day DL; INF Lou Merloni (ankle), 60-day DL; DH-RF Tim Salmon (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Matt Hensley (shoulder), 60-day DL. Indians - OF Juan Gonzalez (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Jason Stanford (elbow), 60-day DL.