MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Angels - INSIDE PITCH


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- After starting the season 0-7, left-hander Hector Santiago is discovering the effectiveness that the Los Angeles Angels hoped he would display when they traded one of their best young players for him.

Santiago permitted just one run, three hits and no walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out three Sunday in the Angels' 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.

In his past seven appearances since June 22, Santiago has allowed just four walks, eight earned runs and 22 hits while amassing 26 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings -- and earning his first two victories of the season.

The Angels sacrificed first baseman Mark Trumbo to acquire Santiago in a three-way deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox in December. With the White Sox last year, Santiago ranked third on the team with 23 starts, 149 innings pitched and 137 strikeouts. The native of Newark, N.J., also held opposing right-handed batters to a .244 average, fifth best among American League left-handers.

However, Santiago began this year by tying an ignominious club record. Santiago began his tenure with the Angels by failing to earn a victory in 11 consecutive starts. After losing five of his first six starts, Santiago went to the bullpen on May 8 before being sent to Triple-A Salt Lake on May 21 to seek improved control.

"That was my problem early," Santiago said of his command of the strike zone.

Once he resolved that problem, the Angels recalled Santiago on June 21.

"If you can get two strikes off the first two pitches, you're in control of the at-bat," Santiago said. "You can throw anything you want when you're ahead in the count. Lately, I've been really good about keeping the walks down. That's when I know I have a good day, if I have no walks."

The Angels' improved bullpen, featuring right-handed closer Huston Street, reinforces Santiago's newly found confidence.

"You just sit back, relax and watch the rest of the game," Santiago said. "It's fun when you can have a tough sixth inning but your guys can come and pick you up."

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MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Angels - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 63-41

STREAK: Won three

NEXT: Tuesday -- Angels (RHP Jered Weaver, 11-6, 3.36 ERA) at Orioles (RHP Chris Tillman, 7-5, 3.92 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LHP C.J. Wilson (sprained right ankle) is scheduled to make a rehab start for Double-A Arkansas on Monday. He went on the disabled list July 10, and he threw a simulated game Wednesday and a 40-pitch bullpen session Friday.

--RF Kole Calhoun, who went 2-for-4 Sunday, is batting .323 (60-for-183) with 24 RBIs over his past 49 games. The surge has raised Calhoun's average from .203 to .290.