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Oakland at Anaheim

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Angels 5, Athletics 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ervin Santana pitched another solid game for the Los Angeles Angels. The next significant step for the rookie is to put together two good outings in a row.

Santana allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings Monday night in a 5-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The win continued a mystifying pattern for the tall right-hander, who has alternated between solid and brutal.

"I have to be consistent," Santana said. "I try to do good things every game. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not."

A few hours before the game, Santana found at his locker a glass-enclosed frame containing a few mementos from the five-hit shutout he pitched against the White Sox on May 23 for his first major-league victory -- including the official batting order slips from both teams and the large lineup card that was attached to the dugout wall that night.

But in the six starts that followed, Santana's runs allowed were 1, 7, 1, 7, 1 and 5.

"I don't think it's anything unusual to see a young pitcher struggle a little bit, then come back and have a good game," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's all part of a pitcher developing and learning, and he's doing that. He's using that experience and he's going to get better."

Facing the Athletics for the first time, Santana struck out six and walked three. He threw a lot more breaking balls than the Athletics' anticipated.

"Tonight he brought his other pitches into the game a little earlier, and that certainly helped him to set a tone for what he needed to do," Scioscia said. "(Catcher) Bengie Molina did an incredible job with him in some situations, where he brought some off-count breaking pitches into it that went for strikes and kept them off-balance. And he kept his fastball down all night. That's what he'd going to have to do to get some consistency."

Orlando Cabrera's two-run single capped a four-run sixth inning and Vladimir Guerrero also had two RBI for the Angels, who increased their AL West lead to eight games over second-place Texas and 8½ games over third-place Oakland.

Scot Shields pitched a scoreless eighth and Francisco Rodriguez struck out three for his 21st save in 23 attempts.

Kirk Saarloos (5-6), pitching with nine days' rest because of the All-Star break, allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had won four of his previous five decisions.

Oakland got only one runner past second base until the sixth, when Scott Hatteberg gave the A's a 2-1 lead with a two-run double into the right-field corner after walks to Mark Kotsay and Eric Chavez. But the Angels responded with four runs in the bottom half.

"Hatteberg had a big hit, but we needed to get a shutdown inning and get back and hit," manager Ken Macha said. "That's what we had been getting."

Chone Figgins drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored the tying run when Guerrero bounced into a force play. Jeff DaVanon put the Angels ahead to stay with a bases-loaded infield single as Saarloos tried in vain to make a barehanded play on the high chopper. Cabrera followed with another two-out hit, a single to center that scored Garret Anderson and Steve Finley.

"Saarloos once again kept us in the ballgame," Macha said. "He gave us five great innings and we were right there. He made a good pitch on Guerrero, but we couldn't turn two. Then it comes down to two outs with a tie game, we get 0-2 on DaVanon and he bounces a ball off home plate. Another foot out in front and it's probably just a little dribbler back to the pitcher."

Figgins led off the Angels' first with a single, stole second and scored on Guerrero's sacrifice fly. Figgins need one stolen base to become the first Angels player with consecutive seasons of 30 or more steals since Chad Curtis and Luis Polonia in 1993.

"Their leadoff guy got on twice and started the innings for them," Macha said. "

Oakland center fielder Mark Kotsay was charged with two throwing errors in the sixth on good throws, one to third base that deflected off Guerrero's left arm, and one to the plate that skipped past catcher Jason Kendall. Those were the first errors this season for Kotsay, who had played errorless ball in 91 consecutive games since Sept. 30.

"Those were tough errors," Macha said. "I don't know how many errors he had last year, but they were basically the same way -- on great throws."

Notes

The Athletics had won their previous eight series openers, and their previous 10 against AL teams dating to a 4-1 loss at Cleveland on May 27. ... Angels 3B Dallas McPherson took infield drills for the first time since going on the DL with inflammation in his left hip on July 8, but it will be at least a couple more days before he gets to swing a bat.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Anaheim

E. Santana
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 3
K 6
Oakland

S. Hatteberg
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C4000002 .283
Mark Kotsay, CF3100101 .270
Bobby Crosby, SS3000111 .309
Eric Chavez, 3B2110211 .280
Scott Hatteberg, DH4012013 .279
Bobby Kielty, LF4010013 .284
Dan Johnson, 1B4010023 .285
Nick Swisher, RF4010022 .244
Marco Scutaro, 2B3000012 .253
   a- Adam Melhuse, PH1000011 .176
Totals3225241019 
a-struck out for Scutaro in the 9th
Batting
2B - Scott Hatteberg (14, Santana), Nick Swisher (14, Santana)
RBI - Scott Hatteberg 2 (36)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Chavez-Johnson
E - Mark Kotsay 2 (2, wild throw)
Oakland Athletics
Kirk Saarloos (L,5-6) 5.2855230 4.12
Ricardo Rincon 1000010 4.30
Jay Witasick 0.1000000 2.65
Keiichi Yabu 1000000 4.08
IBB - Finley by Kirk Saarloos
Pitches-Strikes - Kirk Saarloos 74-54, Ricardo Rincon 8-6, Jay Witasick 3-2, Keiichi Yabu 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kirk Saarloos 7-6, Jay Witasick 1-0, Keiichi Yabu 2-1
Batters Faced - Kirk Saarloos 26, Ricardo Rincon 3, Jay Witasick 1, Keiichi Yabu 3
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B3210110 .282
Darin Erstad, 1B4010021 .284
Vladimir Guerrero, RF3102000 .317
Garret Anderson, LF4120000 .299
Steve Finley, CF3110101 .227
Bengie Molina, C4010004 .301
Jeff DaVanon, DH3011010 .249
Orlando Cabrera, SS3012001 .252
Adam Kennedy, 2B3000002 .336
Totals30585249 
Batting
2B - Garret Anderson (21, Saarloos)
SF - Vladimir Guerrero (2)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero 2 (54), Jeff DaVanon (14), Orlando Cabrera 2 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff DaVanon (6), Orlando Cabrera 2 (10)
SB - Chone Figgins 2 (29, 2nd base off Saarloos/Kendall, 2nd base off Saarloos/Kendall)
Team LOB - 4
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (W,4-4) 7422360 5.66
Scot Shields (H,19) 1000110 2.33
Francisco Rodriguez (S,21) 1100030 1.96
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 96-64, Scot Shields 19-9, Francisco Rodriguez 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 9-6, Scot Shields 1-1
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 28, Scot Shields 4, Francisco Rodriguez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40546
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Angel A. Hernandez, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - UMP Nonindividual, Third Base - Lance Barksdale