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L.A. Angels (8-6) «2300200007101
Texas (5-8)300000010491

Santana endures rough beginning to pitch Angels past Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ervin Santana was struggling in Texas -- again. With some encouragement from his Los Angeles teammates, though, he stayed positive and came out a winner.

Santana rebounded from a three-run first to pitch seven strong innings, Mike Napoli hit a home run and the Angels handed the Texas Rangers their fourth consecutive loss -- 7-4 on Monday night.

Santana (2-0) came in 1-4 with an 8.92 ERA in seven career road starts against the Rangers, and he quickly fell behind, allowing Hank Blalock's two-run homer and Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the first. But after loading the bases in the third, he retired 11 straight.

"He's got great stuff," Napoli said. "We let him know it to keep him confident. He's not letting up. He's really going after it."

Santana was not in the clubhouse after the game.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

The Angels had lost seven of eight against the Rangers, including two of three in California from April 4-6.

"Against us, they make all the plays," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who was ejected for arguing a called third strike in the eighth inning.

Los Angeles went in front 5-3 in the second against Rangers starter Jason Jennings (0-3) on Napoli's leadoff home run, Vladimir Guerrero's run-scoring double and Garret Anderson's RBI single.

Texas loaded the bases in the third, but Santana escaped when he got Marlon Byrd to ground into a double play.

"That was a big play in the game," Scioscia said. "After that, he got better as the game went along. Once he found it, he started pounding the strike zone. We really saw him come to life."

With two outs in the fifth, the Angels pushed their lead to 7-3 when Byrd misplayed Maicer Izturis' line drive in right field. Byrd charged the ball and it skipped past him for a two-base error that allowed Izturis to race to third as Guerrero and Casey Kotchman crossed the plate.

"(Byrd) probably wishes he had played it on one hop," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Jennings, a 16-game winner for Colorado in 2002 before right elbow problems threatened his career last season with Houston, gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, increasing his ERA to 8.79 in three starts.

"He's coming off an arm injury and needs time," Washington said. "He has a track record of performing and we hope he starts performing the way he has in the past."

Jennings thought he threw the ball better than in his first two starts this season, but he offered no excuses.

"I can't put us in a hole," Jennings said. "To not have a shutdown inning after we scored three in the first was a bummer. The thing is, I felt really good. There were some positives in how I threw the ball the last three innings."

Scioscia was ejected in the eighth for arguing a called third strike against Guerrero.

The Angels had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth when home plate umpire Joe West called out Guerrero on a pitch by Jamey Wright that appeared to be low.

Guerrero stared at West and Scioscia came out of the dugout to dispute the call, receiving his first ejection of the season and 18th of his career.

Notes

  • The Angels expect to be without 2B Howie Kendrick for several games after Kendrick sustained a strained left hamstring in the seventh inning Sunday during a 10-5 victory at Seattle. Kendrick is batting .500 (18-for-36) and has six hits in his past eight at-bats. Izturis got the start at 2B.
  • The Rangers called up RHP Wes Littleton from Triple-A Oklahoma and optioned right-hander Scott Feldman to Double-A Frisco. Littleton came on in relief in the fifth, allowing one hit in 2 1/3 shutout innings.
  • The Angels had CF Torii Hunter back in the lineup after Hunter sat out Sunday against Seattle with a sore left big toe.
  • Angels RHP John Lackey's rehab from a strained right triceps continues with a bullpen session scheduled on Wednesday in Anaheim. Lackey threw 47 pitches in a session on Sunday.
  • Milton Bradley has hit safely in nine consecutive games for Texas.
 
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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One inning after his home run, Mike Napoli helps get Ervin Santana out of a bases-loaded jam.  (AP)
One inning after his home run, Mike Napoli helps get Ervin Santana out of a bases-loaded jam. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

H. Blalock
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Anaheim

V. Guerrero
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B5110023 .385
Gary Matthews Jr., LF3200223 .246
Vladimir Guerrero, RF5221025 .298
Garret Anderson, DH5011022 .220
Torii Hunter, CF4010112 .294
Casey Kotchman, 1B4112101 .360
Maicer Izturis, 2B3011102 .139
Mike Napoli, C3121000 .273
Erick Aybar, SS4010002 .303
Totals36710659  
Batting
2B - Vladimir Guerrero (4, J. Jennings)
HR - Mike Napoli (4, J. Jennings)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (12), Garret Anderson (5), Casey Kotchman 2 (8), Maicer Izturis (5), Mike Napoli (8)
2-OUT RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (8), Garret Anderson (2), Casey Kotchman 2 (7), Maicer Izturis (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Izturis-Kotchman
E - Erick Aybar (4, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (W,2-0) 7733161 3.32
Justin Speier 0.1210000 6.75
Scot Shields (H,1) 0.2000010 2.08
Francisco Rodriguez (S,4) 1000000 6.75
WP - Ervin Santana 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 103-67, Justin Speier 13-10, Scot Shields 7-5, Francisco Rodriguez 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 5-9, Justin Speier 1-1, Scot Shields 1-0, Francisco Rodriguez 2-1
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 28, Justin Speier 4, Scot Shields 2, Francisco Rodriguez 3
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5110012 .302
Michael Young, SS3001000 .196
Josh Hamilton, CF4110010 .269
Milton Bradley, DH4130000 .333
Hank Blalock, 3B3123100 .273
Marlon Byrd, RF3000011 .133
   a- David Murphy, PH-RF1000012 .267
Frank Catalanotto, LF4020012 .200
Gerald Laird, C4000012 .222
Ben Broussard, 1B4000012 .220
Totals3549417  
a-struck out for Byrd in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (5, Santana), Frank Catalanotto (2, Santana)
HR - Hank Blalock (2, Santana)
SF - Michael Young (1)
RBI - Michael Young (5), Hank Blalock 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Blalock 2 (2)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Broussard
E - Marlon Byrd (1, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Jason Jennings (L,0-3) 4.2776451 8.79
Wes Littleton 2.1100020 0.00
Jamey Wright 1200120 1.17
Franklyn German 1000000 1.59
IBB - Kotchman by Jason Jennings
HBP - Napoli (by Jason Jennings)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Jennings 106-55, Wes Littleton 29-22, Jamey Wright 22-12, Franklyn German 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Jennings 6-3, Wes Littleton 3-1, Jamey Wright 1-0, Franklyn German 2-1
Batters Faced - Jason Jennings 26, Wes Littleton 7, Jamey Wright 6, Franklyn German 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16541
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor