Los Angeles (48-30) at Washington (30-49)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 92° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Jun 25, 2008
  • TV: FSW, MASN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

As one of the top teams in the majors, the Los Angeles Angels are capable of winning on any given night. The lowly Washington Nationals have been making it even easier for them.

The Angels look to continue to take advantage of the mistake-prone Nationals and sweep consecutive road series for the first time in six years when they conclude their three-game set Wednesday.

Los Angeles (48-30) got all the offense it needed with a six-run first inning Tuesday en route to an 8-3 win over Washington (30-49). The Nationals committed a season-high four errors - two in the first inning - one day after a pair of eighth-inning errors allowed the Angels to rally for two runs and win 3-2.

Washington has been awful in the field lately, committing a major league-worst 15 errors since June 15—a span of nine games.

“You’ve got to feed off errors,” Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. “Anytime a team makes an error, you’ve got to take advantage of it. We try to go out there and take advantage of any mistakes like hyenas.”

The home-field advantage is something that has not helped teams beat Los Angeles, which owns the best record in the AL.

The Angels are a major league-best 26-12 on the road this season, and have won 10 of 11 away from home this month. They’ve outscored opponents 27-10 through five games on their nine-game road trip.

Los Angeles, which swept Philadelphia over the weekend, has not pulled off two straight three-game sweeps on the road since series at Tampa Bay and Baltimore from Sept. 3-8, 2002.

Washington, meanwhile, owns the majors’ second-worst home record at 15-25, and has dropped 11 of its last 13 at Nationals Park.

Ervin Santana (9-3, 3.17 ERA) has keyed the Angels’ success on the road and he gets the ball in the series finale.

Santana entered this season 10-21 with a 7.28 ERA in 39 career road starts, but is 6-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine such outings in 2008. In three June starts away from Angel Stadium, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA, striking out 21 in 21 innings.

On Friday, Santana allowed two hits and an unearned run while striking out nine in seven innings of a 7-1 victory at Philadelphia.

This will be Santana’s first outing against the Nationals since June 14, 2005 - his third career start. In that game, he allowed one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss, but did not get the decision.

The Angels could be without right fielder Vladimir Guerrero for this game after he left after two innings Tuesday with flu-like symptoms. The eight-time All-Star is batting .431 (25-for-58) with six home runs and 13 RBIs during his season-high 15-game hitting streak.

The Nationals have lost seven of eight, getting outscored 54-21.

Washington center fielder Lastings Milledge appeared to be hitting his stride a couple of weeks ago, but has been slumping since. He’s 1-for-29 (.034) with a solo homer in his last seven games after hitting .361 (13-for-36) with two home runs and five RBIs in his previous nine.

Tim Redding (6-3, 4.12) takes the hill Wednesday to make his first career start against the Angels.

Redding allowed three runs and five hits in six innings of a 4-3, 14-inning win over Texas on Friday. The Nationals have won Redding’s last eight starts, but the right-hander has earned victories in just two of them - and none since May 19.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Santana Min vs. T. Redding Tor
16-7 Record 10-11
3.49 ERA 4.95
214 K 120
47 BB 65
1.12 WHIP 1.43


Wednesday, Jun 25