Santana looks to turn in another strong start when AL West-leading Los Angeles wraps up a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium.
Santana (4-6, 5.48 ERA) is 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA in five starts at home this season, but is winless with a 9.30 ERA in six road outings. His career numbers have followed the same pattern - he is 23-6 all-time at home and 9-16 on the road, although he denies there’s any reason for the disparity.
“I pitch the same, no different, on the road and at home,” he told the Angels’ official Web site.
Santana’s pitching lines seem to tell a different story. He allowed just one run in seven innings of a 4-1 home win over Seattle on Tuesday, bouncing back nicely after giving up eight runs in 3 2-3 frames at Detroit on May 24.
“I just concentrated more and kept the ball down,” he said. “But I didn’t change anything. I did the same things tonight that I did on the road. I just have to make my pitches.”
Santana is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles, three of which have come in Los Angeles. He’ll be aiming to lead the Angels to their eighth win in 10 games in Sunday’s series finale.
Los Angeles (35-22) beat the Orioles 7-4 on Saturday as Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and Joe Saunders threw six strong innings in an emergency start for the ailing Bartolo Colon. Chone Figgins went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and is 8-for-11 in three games after sitting out the previous two because of a prolonged slump.
The team announced after the game that Saunders would be optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room for left fielder Garret Anderson, who will be activated from the disabled list Sunday. Anderson, who has not played since April 27 because of a torn right hip flexor tendon, worked out Saturday at Angel Stadium after a three-game minor league rehab stint with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
He is hitting .263 with 10 RBIs and 16 runs but just one homer in 23 games for the Angels this season.
The Orioles (27-29), meanwhile, have managed only six runs and 12 hits in consecutive losses after a six-game winning streak. Catcher Ramon Hernandez drove in all four of Saturday’s runs on a two-run double and a two-run homer.
Baltimore will hand the ball to Jeremy Guthrie (3-1, 3.02), who allowed just two runs in seven innings of Tuesday’s 6-2 win at Kansas City, but said after the game he didn’t have his best stuff. Guthrie, who made 15 relief appearances and one start for Cleveland before being claimed off waivers by Baltimore in January, has been a big boost to the Orioles’ injury-ravaged rotation, going at least seven innings in his last four starts while allowing a total of just six earned runs over that span.
“He continues to be a big positive for us, especially losing the people we have,” manager Sam Perlozzo told the Orioles’ official Web site. “I don’t know where we’d be if he wasn’t pitching the way he is. He’s got a long season left. We keep crossing our fingers every time he goes out there that the bubble doesn’t burst for us.”
Guthrie is facing the Angels for the first time.
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