The Angels (38-44) hope second-year pro Erwin Santana can end his struggles against the Mariners as the teams continue their three-game series at Safeco Field.
Santana (8-3, 3.92 ERA) was hit hard in two starts against the Mariners last season. The right-hander lasted just 8 1-3 innings in losing both of them, finishing with a 9.72 ERA as the Mariners hit .359 against him.
But this time around, Santana enters the game with a personal four-game winning streak over his last five starts in which he had a 2.48 ERA and limited opponents to a .196 batting average. The 23-year-old did not have a decision Wednesday against Colorado in which he allowed two runs and four hits with four walks in seven innings as Los Angeles lost 6-2.
“I got in trouble but I made good pitches that the umpire didn’t call and they got a rally,” Santana said.
Santana had three of his walks in one inning, and he has walked 13 batters in his last three starts.
He follows recalled starter Jered Weaver, who matched a franchise record by winning his first five major league starts in Monday’s 7-1 win. Weaver, who rejoined the squad Friday to take his older brother Jeff’s roster spot, pitched seven strong innings and broke the 100-pitch mark for the first time this season, limiting the Mariners to one run while striking out a career-high nine.
“When he got a lead he knew what to do. He put pitches in good zones and made them step up to try and beat him, and we were able to hold it tonight,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s got great mound presence out there and pitched a terrific game.”
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera reached base for the 60th consecutive game—the longest of its kind since 1960—with an eighth-inning single. Chone Figgins had three RBIs while Kendry Morales and Adam Kennedy each had two.
Anaheim has won three straight games and seven of its last 11.
The Mariners (42-42) will try to bounce back behind Gil Meche (7-4, 3.75), who has pitched well both against the Angels this season and at Safeco Field. The right-hander has won both his starts against Los Angeles despite giving up six runs and 13 hits in 10 1-3 innings.
Meche is 5-2 with a 2.39 ERA at home this season, allowing three runs or less in all seven starts, and has limited opposing hitters to a .198 batting average at Safeco Field. He is 5-2 with a 5.27 ERA in 14 lifetime starts versus the Angels.
Like Santana, Meche pitched well in June with a 3-0 record and 1.60 ERA in five starts. The right-hander turned in a strong start Thursday against Arizona, allowing just two runs in seven innings, but did not have a decision as the Mariners rallied for a 3-2 victory.
Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who drove in Seattle’s lone run, has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games against Anaheim. He is 36-for-102 (.353) with 27 runs scored, 11 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in that span.