The Angels might have avoided the latest crisis in their starting rotation.
Ervin Santana pronounced himself ready to pitch again after throwing 43 pitches in a bullpen session before Sunday's game. Santana was scratched from his scheduled start earlier this week due to soreness in his forearm near his elbow.
An MRI revealed only inflammation and no structural damage to the elbow. The Angels are understandably leery of any discomfort in Santana's arm. He spent the first six weeks of this season on the disabled list with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow and looked far from 100 percent in his six starts since returning. He was 1-3 with a 7.47 ERA in those starts, allowing 45 hits in 31 1/3 innings while pitching with diminished velocity and little of the sharp movement on his breaking pitches that helped him make the All-Star team in 2008.
After his workout Sunday, though, Santana said he felt no discomfort in his arm. The Angels will re-evaluate him Monday to see how he bounces back from the workout before determining whether he will be ready to resume his spot in their starting rotation Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.
If Santana is not ready to pitch on Tuesday, the Angels' backup plan is to promote RHP Sean O'Sullivan from Triple-A Salt Lake to start in Santana's place again. O'Sullivan took Santana's start in San Francisco on Tuesday and got the win in his big-league debut, holding the Giants to one run on five hits in seven innings.
DODGERS 5, ANGELS 3: The Angels were shut out by Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw on four hits through seven innings. They wasted a prime scoring opportunity in the fifth inning with the score 1-0. The Angels loaded the bases with no outs, but Bobby Abreu bounced into a home-to-first double play and Torii Hunter popped out to end the inning. By the time they scored against the Dodgers bullpen in the eighth, the Dodgers had a comfortable lead. The Angels and Dodgers split their interleague matchups this season. The Dodgers took two out of three in the weekend series at Angel Stadium. The Angels took two out of three in Los Angeles earlier this season.
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