Ervin Santana’s success on the road is a big reason why he earned his first All-Star game selection this season. The Los Angeles Angels right-hander, however, has been successful against the Oakland Athletics regardless of where he’s faced them.
Santana looks to continue his domination of the Athletics while trying to prevent them from cutting further into the Angels’ AL West lead Saturday night.
Though Santana (10-3, 3.53 ERA) has a 5.40 ERA over his last three starts, he’s 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts versus Oakland this season and 8-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 12 career starts against the A’s.
“He’s been good every time he’s pitched against us,” Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis said of Santana, who’s 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five road starts versus the A’s (51-42). “Even when you get into a hitter’s count, you’re not guaranteed to get a good pitch to hit.”
Santana went 1-10 with an 8.38 ERA on the road during a disappointing 2007 season, but is 7-1 with a 3.77 ERA away from home, where he’s won his last three decisions, this year. He managed to earn another road victory Monday despite allowing six runs and 10 hits in seven innings of a 9-6 win over Texas.
“I was trying to be too perfect,” Santana told Los Angeles’ official Web site. “Even with an 8-1 lead, I try to be perfect.”
The Angels (55-38) hope he can help them rebound from a 9-2 loss at Oakland in Friday’s opener. Los Angeles has yielded 19 runs and 35 hits in the last two contests and has lost three of four, causing its lead over the second-place A’s to shrink to four games.
Jack Hannahan went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs on Friday, while Emil Brown added three hits and drove in a run for Oakland, winner of two in a row and four of five. Brown is 6-for-14 with a homer and three RBIs in his last three games.
“We just kept going,” said A’s manager Bob Geren, whose team had totaled nine runs in the previous three games. “A lot of times it’s difficult to link something together like that but when your offense can do that it’s pretty special.”
Outfielder Matt Murton drove in a pair of runs in his first game since coming to the A’s from the Chicago Cubs in the Rich Harden deal. Right-hander Sean Gallagher, the key player acquired by Oakland in the trade, allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings during his A’s debut Friday.
On Saturday, Oakland will start Dana Eveland (7-5, 3.50), who’s seeking a fourth straight winning decision. He allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-3 victory over Seattle on Monday.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last five starts, but 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two outings versus the Angels, both of which have come this season.
Chone Figgins drove in a run and had one of the three hits Friday for the Angels, who were shut down after winning 11-10 at Texas on Thursday.
Erick Aybar also had a hit and scored a run for Los Angeles. He’s batting .375 (6-for-16) with seven runs in his last five games against Oakland.
The Angels lead the season series 6-5.