Santana, having regrouped after a tough start, looks to help the Angels sweep their season series with the lowly Royals on Monday.
Los Angeles (81-54) improved to 9-0 against Kansas City (51-85) on Sunday, winning 7-2 in the third game of this four-game series. Joe Saunders(notes) had a strong start for the Angels, who have gotten outstanding pitching all season against the Royals.
Los Angeles has posted a 2.28 ERA while surrendering two home runs in 83 innings versus Kansas City. The last six meetings between the teams have been at Kansas City, where the AL West-leading Angels have won 23 of 28 games.
One of the worst pitching performances Los Angels has gotten against Kansas City came from Santana (7-7, 5.68 ERA), who allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings of an 8-5 Angels victory July 21.
Santana, who matched a career high with 16 wins in 2008, had a 7.31 ERA through his first 13 starts this year. In six outings since then, however, the right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
“Everything is coming together,” Santana said.
Santana gave up one run in six innings of Los Angeles’ 2-1 loss to Seattle on Tuesday night.
He’s 3-2 with a 4.82 ERA in six starts versus the Royals.
Kansas City will counter with Kyle Davies(notes) (6-9, 5.71), who has won two straight starts and has surrendered two runs or fewer in four of five outings. The right-hander yielded one run and struck out six in six innings as Kansas City beat Oakland 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Davies pitched well in his first start against the Angels, giving up one run and three hits in six innings of a 4-3 Royals loss May 10.
He’ll face an Angels lineup that has gotten a much-needed spark at the plate.
Abreu has 72 RBIs in 88 games since May 25th—the most in the American League during that span. The veteran right fielder has 89 RBIs on the year and is on pace for his seventh straight 100-RBI season.
“He’s been searching for some stuff for a couple days,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia told the team’s official Web site. “He’ll be back in there.”
Guerrero has 19 RBIs in his last 18 road games against the Royals.
Kansas City has lost eight of nine at Kauffman Stadium, and its 26-44 record at home is the majors’ worst. Poor performances at the plate haven’t helped, with the Royals scoring two runs or fewer in four straight home games.
Miguel Olivo(notes) was one of Kansas City’s few bright spots Sunday, hitting his team-leading 18th home run. That’s a career high for the catcher, who is hitting .314 with seven RBIs in his last nine games.