Angels’ Ervin Santana dominates in 2-0 victory over Rangers


Los Angeles Times
By Mike DiGiovanna

September 21, 2010

This one didn’t carry the same weight for the Angels as his last shutout, a seven-hitter to beat Texas last Sept. 28 in Anaheim. That gem clinched the 2009 American League West championship for his club.

But it had plenty of individual significance for Ervin Santana, whose fifth career shutout, a five-hit masterpiece in a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Angel Stadium on Tuesday night, gave the 27-year-old right-hander his career-best 17th victory of the season.

“He’s throwing the ball as well as we’ve ever seen him, and we’ve given him enough support to get that many wins,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Santana, who is 17-9 with a 3.77 earned-run average. “He shut down a lineup with power all the way through it.”

Santana had good life on his fastball, which hit 95 mph on a seventh-inning strikeout of Chris Davis, and effectively mixed his breaking ball and changeup. Of his 122 pitches, 80 were strikes.

The fact that Scioscia sent him out for the ninth with a pitch count of 110 is a testament to Santana’s mechanics and how far he’s come from his injury-marred 2009 season, when Santana suffered an elbow sprain in spring training and went 8-8 with a 5.03 ERA.

“Ervin had a setback in spring training and was pitching [last season] with velocity that wasn’t as crisp as it is now,” Scioscia said. “This year, he’s matching velocity with command, and he has that great breaking ball he can throw when he needs it.”

The win, in a crisp 2 hours 12 minutes, helped the Angels, who have won nine of 12 games, move to within a game of .500 and to within 8