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Santana moves Angels closer to division title

Sep 19, 2007 - 11:20 PM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continue their business-like march toward the American West Division title.

Ervin Santana pitched 6 1/3 strong innings and got just enough run support to earn the win as the Angels beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 2-1, on Wednesday to complete a three-game series sweep.

Juan Rivera hit a solo home run and Jeff Mathis had an RBI single as the Angels (90-62) reduced their magic number to clinch the AL West title to three. Nearing their third division crown in four seasons, the Angels are 8 1/2 games clear of second-place Seattle (81-70), which topped Oakland on Wednesday.

"I helped myself out by making some big pitches in big situations," Santana said. "I just want to go out and finish strong and get the opportunity to get a chance to start in the playoffs."

With scheduled starter Bartolo Colon sidelined with a stiff back, Santana (7-13) filled in admirably and picked up just his second win in 12 starts. His only mistake came in the fifth inning, when he allowed a leadoff home run by Jonny Gomes.

"(Santana) did a good job coming in and filling in for us today," Angels catcher Mathis said. "It doesn't matter who goes out there for us because we're here to win, and it's coming down to the wire."

Santana got into trouble in the sixth as the Devil Rays loaded the bases with two outs while trailing, 2-1. However, the righthander preserved the lead by getting Jorge Velandia to fly out to center field.

"I just keep working hard right now and working with my mechanics to improve," Santana said. "I had a really good slider going today that I could throw in any count."

Santana allowed one run, six hits and two walks while striking out 10. He gave way to lefthander Darren Oliver in the seventh after striking out Josh Wilson with his 100th pitch of the game.

Francisco Rodriguez worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to nail down his 37th save of the season.

"I've been feeling better lately and my pitches are in the zone again," Rodriguez said. "My confidence is better now and I just had to forget about the bad outings I have had lately."

Enduring a sweep here was nothing new for the Devil Rays, who fell to 4-23 at Angel Stadium since the start of the 2002 season. The Angels, who are 52-25 here this year, have won eight consecutive home games against the Devil Rays.

"For whatever reason, it just seems like no matter what we do, we always fall short of a win here," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We know they have a good ballclub, but we should at least be able to get a win."

Tampa Bay starter J.P. Howell (1-5) allowed two runs, five hits and and one walk while striking out eight in six innings.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
    LA ANGELS 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 2 5 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - J.P. HOWELL, DAN WHEELER (7TH), AL REYES (8TH) AND RAUL
    CASANOVA
    LAA - ERVIN SANTANA, DARREN OLIVER (7TH), JUSTIN SPEIER
    (8TH), FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND

    Sep 19 6:12 PM
  • 40
    roots
    EdanStarfire Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. AngelsSep 19 6:01 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays vs. AngelsSep 19 5:56 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JONNY GOMES (16) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ERVIN SANTANA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J VELANDIA (.643, 1-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. AngelsSep 19 4:48 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF MATHIS SCORED HOWIE KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MATHIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    LA ANGELS 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: B WOOD (.174, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. AngelsSep 19 4:44 PM
  • EdanStarfire LOL! Angels need to go away!

    Rays vs. AngelsSep 19 4:08 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JUAN RIVERA (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF J.P. HOWELL.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, LA ANGELS 1
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: J MATHIS (.224, 4 HR, 21 RBI)

    Rays vs. AngelsSep 19 4:01 PM