Santana pitches Angels to victory

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Ervin Santana refuses to even think about his dominance over Oakland. The first-time All-Star keeps his focus on winning.

Ervin Santana allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings, Howie Kendrick had two hits and an RBI, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Saturday night.

“I don’t feel like I had that kind of energy,” Santana said. “I’ve had better stuff. I tried to keep the score close; put zeros on the board. With us losing last night, I was just trying to keep the score close because we needed this game.”

Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera also drove in runs for the Angels, who had lost three of their previous four games.

Santana (11-3) improved to 9-1 against the A’s, including wins in his last five decisions against them. He’s 35-32 against the rest of baseball.

“He had terrific stuff and he’s brought that stuff into most games he’s out there pitching,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s been doing it every start. The command was big and he made some great pitches.”

Carlos Gonzalez doubled twice and drove in a run and Emil Brown had two hits and scored a run for the A’s.

Jack Cust struck out in his 19th consecutive game, setting an Oakland record for non-pitchers. He’s fanned 114 times to date, one short of the AL mark for most strikeouts before the All-Star break. Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard leads the majors with 128 strikeouts.

Dana Eveland (7-6) gave up two runs in the first inning and then pitched his way out of trouble the rest of the way as his career-high three-game winning streak was halted. He gave up five hits over 5 1-3 innings, walking five and striking out five.

“I’ve had a few rough first innings lately,” Eveland said. “I don’t know what it is, whether it’s in my preparation or not being locked in. After that I was doing a good job.”

Santana saves his best for the A’s. His four wins in Oakland are his most in any park outside of Anaheim, and his nine wins are his most against any team. He lowered his ERA against the A’s to 1.36 (14 runs in 92 1-3 innings) and has never lost in his seven starts in Oakland.

“Every year they have a different team, different players,” Santana said. “I just go out there and do my best. I don’t think about it. I just try to pitch.”

Scot Shields got the first two outs of the eighth before allowing Brown’s single and Gonzalez’s RBI double.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 37th save in 40 chances.

Santana was in a jam once, giving up singles to Mark Ellis and Daric Barton to open the seventh. Jack Hannahan’s infield groundout advanced both runners but Santana struck out Donnie Murphy and Kurt Suzuki. He walked two and struck out 10, his most against the A’s.

“I haven’t seen him pitch enough against other teams,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “I just know he’s tough on us. He has one of the better fastballs in the league. Even after 100 pitches he’s still throwing 97 mils an hour.”

The Angels put together a two-out rally in the first inning to score their first two runs. With one out, Manny Aybar walked. After Guerrero struck out, Torii Hunter singled with Aybar taking third. Eveland’s wild pitch allowed Aybar to score and Kendrick singled home Hunter.


Scoiscia announced that RHP Dustin Moseley will be recalled from Salt Lake City to start Sunday’s game in place of LHP Joe Saunders, who left the team to be with his wife (Shanel) for the birth of their first child. … The Angels won their club record 56th game before the All-Star Break. … Kendrick is batting .429 (21-49) with runners in scoring position. … A’s C Kurt Suzuki is a career .059 hitter (1-17) against Santana. … A’s RHP Brad Ziegler pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to extend his career-opening scoreless streak to 20 1-3 innings, the longest in the majors since Toronto’s Victor Cruz in 1978.

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