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Mon, Sep 27, 2010 - 10:05 PM ET
 

Athletics-Angels Preview

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While it's been a disappointing season for the Los Angeles Angels, for Ervin Santana individually it's been the best of his career.

In his final home start, Santana will look to continue his dominance of the Oakland Athletics when he takes the mound Monday for the opener of a three-game series.

The Angels (75-80) have dropped four in a row including a three-game sweep to the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, losing 4-3 Sunday. They blew a three-run lead in Sunday's 4-3 defeat - their 12 loss in 19 home games.

"I had a lot of young guys on that field," manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels' official website. "There's going to be some growing pains, and I think we saw them (Sunday) afternoon."

While Scioscia's club collectively is stumbling, Santana (17-9, 3.77 ERA) continues to pitch outstanding ball. The right-hander has a 2.13 ERA over his last five starts and has won four straight decisions to set a new career high in victories.

Santana pitched a five-hitter in a 2-0 win over Texas on Tuesday, striking out eight.

"It's an impressive performance for Ervin to have pitched as deep in games as he has," Scioscia said. "He's gotten a little more run support than (Jered Weaver), but he's had to grind out every win he's had."

Santana has been dominant throughout his career against the Athletics (77-78), going 12-3 with a 1.80 ERA, including a 2-1 mark with a 4.24 ERA this season. He gave up two earned runs in six innings of a 7-4 win Sept. 5 at Oakland.

Equally impressive in September has been Athletics probable starter Brett Anderson (6-6, 2.73), who is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last five outings.

He allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings against the White Sox on Wednesday, but didn't get a decision as Oakland lost 4-3.

This will be the first start of the season against the Angels, who went 0-2 with a 4.34 ERA in three starts versus Los Angeles as a rookie in 2009.

Oakland hoped Anderson can help them snap a three-game losing streak. After winning the opener of a four-game set against Texas on Thursday, the A's were outscored 30-15 over the next three. They lost 16-9 on Sunday after 17-game winner Trevor Cahill gave up seven runs and 12 hits in four innings.

Manager Bob Geren removed many of his starters with the game out of hand, but was pleased with the persistence of his less experienced players.

"The guys I put in the game were the ones who had the great game and got us within two after eight," Geren said.

Oakland is opening a season-ending seven-game road trip. The A's have dropped four of six in Anaheim this season.

Tagged: Angels, Athletics, Ervin Santana

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