ANAHEIM, Calif. -- After starting the season 0-7, left-hander Hector Santiago is discovering the effectiveness that the Los Angeles Angels hoped he would display when they traded one of their best young players for him.
Santiago permitted just one run, three hits and no walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out three Sunday in the Angels' 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.
In his past seven appearances since June 22, Santiago has allowed just four walks, eight earned runs and 22 hits while amassing 26 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings -- and earning his first two victories of the season.
The Angels sacrificed first baseman Mark Trumbo to acquire Santiago in a three-way deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox in December. With the White Sox last year, Santiago ranked third on the team with 23 starts, 149 innings pitched and 137 strikeouts. The native of Newark, N.J., also held opposing right-handed batters to a .244 average, fifth best among American League left-handers.
However, Santiago began this year by tying an ignominious club record. Santiago began his tenure with the Angels by failing to earn a victory in 11 consecutive starts. After losing five of his first six starts, Santiago went to the bullpen on May 8 before being sent to Triple-A Salt Lake on May 21 to seek improved control.
"That was my problem early," Santiago said of his command of the strike zone.
Once he resolved that problem, the Angels recalled Santiago on June 21.
"If you can get two strikes off the first two pitches, you're in control of the at-bat," Santiago said. "You can throw anything you want when you're ahead in the count. Lately, I've been really good about keeping the walks down. That's when I know I have a good day, if I have no walks."
The Angels' improved bullpen, featuring right-handed closer Huston Street, reinforces Santiago's newly found confidence.
"You just sit back, relax and watch the rest of the game," Santiago said. "It's fun when you can have a tough sixth inning but your guys can come and pick you up."
STREAK: Won three
NEXT: Tuesday -- Angels (RHP Jered Weaver, 11-6, 3.36 ERA) at Orioles (RHP Chris Tillman, 7-5, 3.92 ERA)
--LHP C.J. Wilson (sprained right ankle) is scheduled to make a rehab start for Double-A Arkansas on Monday. He went on the disabled list July 10, and he threw a simulated game Wednesday and a 40-pitch bullpen session Friday.
--RF Kole Calhoun, who went 2-for-4 Sunday, is batting .323 (60-for-183) with 24 RBIs over his past 49 games. The surge has raised Calhoun's average from .203 to .290.
--1B Efren Navarro ended a productive homestand Sunday by going 1-for-3. During the 10-game homestand, Navarro hit .310 (9-for-29) with two doubles, his first major league home run and four RBIs. Navarro, whom the Angels selected in the 50th round of the 2007 June draft, has 13 hits in his past 37 at-bats for a .351 average.
--2B Howie Kendrick continues to lead the major leagues with a .359 batting average (33-for-92) this month. Kendrick went 1-for-3 on Sunday.
--RHP Joe Smith improved to 4-0 when he got the win Sunday in the Angels' 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Smith retired all three batters he faced in the top of the eighth inning on groundouts. Smith has yet to allow an earned run in 14 innings this month, and he is 2-0 with eight saves in July. In his past 20 appearances covering 19 1/3 innings, Smith has allowed only one earned run.
--LF Josh Hamilton returned to the lineup Sunday and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts after missing Saturday night's game because of inflammation in his left knee. The ailment caused Hamilton leave Friday night's game in the third inning. He received a cortisone shot to alleviate inflammation.
--LHP Randy Wolf signed a minor league contract with the Angels on Saturday and was assigned to Triple-A Salt Lake. Wolf, who will turn 38 on Aug. 22, is with his fifth major league organization this year. He signed a minor league deal in February with the Seattle Mariners, who released him in spring training. Wolf then signed contracts with Arizona, Miami and Baltimore but opted out of his minor league contract with the Orioles after three weeks. The left-hander pitched six games for the Marlins this year, compiling a 1-3 record and a 5.26 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. Wolf missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2012.
--RHP Jered Weaver will pitch on five days of rest when he faces the Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday night. In his past six starts, Weaver is 4-0 with a 2.68 ERA. In 43 2/3 innings encompassing those outings, Weaver amassed 35 strikeouts while conceding just eight walks, 13 earned runs and 37 hits. Weaver won his most recent start, when he allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings while striking out six in a 3-2 against the Orioles in Anaheim on Wednesday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Hopefully, that's just the start of bigger things for David. This guy is a much better hitter than a guy hitting .240 in lieu of his production numbers." -- Manager Mike Scioscia, on 3B David Freese, whose eighth-inning, solo home run lifted the Angels to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
--LF Josh Hamilton (sore left knee) left the July 25 game. He did not play July 26, but he was back in the lineup July 27.
--INF/OF Grant Green (lower back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 21. The timetable for his return was unknown.
--OF Collin Cowgill (fractures in nose and right thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list July 13. He underwent nasal surgery July 14. He hit balls off a tee July 25. He is expected back in mid-August.
--LHP C.J. Wilson (sprained right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list July 10. He threw a bullpen session July 21, a simulated game July 23, then another bullpen session July 25. He will make a rehab start for Double-A Arkansas on July 28.
--LHP Sean Burnett (torn left ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 29, and he was transferred to the 60-day disabled list June 3. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery June 5.
--RHP Ryan Brasier (right elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 16.
--LHP Brian Moran (left elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 13. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in mid-April.
RHP Jered Weaver
RHP Garrett Richards
RHP Matt Shoemaker
LHP Tyler Skaggs
RHP Huston Street (closer)
RHP Joe Smith
RHP Jason Grilli
RHP Kevin Jepsen
RHP Mike Morin
LHP Hector Santiago
LHP Joe Thatcher
RHP Cory Rasmus
1B Albert Pujols
2B Howie Kendrick
SS Erick Aybar
3B David Freese
INF John McDonald
INF C.J. Cron
LF Josh Hamilton
CF Mike Trout
RF Kole Calhoun
OF Efren Navarro
OF J.B. Shuck
- Sports & Recreation
- Hector Santiago
- Detroit Tigers
- Jered Weaver
- Josh Hamilton