Angels Look To Ervin Santana To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

The Angels will need a win tonight in order to maintain playoff hopes.

The Angels will look to salvage the final two games of their 4-game series with the Texas Rangers starting Wednesday night in Anaheim.  After being outscored 15-7 and out hit 31-18 by the hot hitting Ranger team, the Angels have fallen a season high 6 games back.   In losing six of their last seven while the Texas club has won five of six, the Halos will need Ervin Santana to continue his mid-season resurgence if they are to remain in the AL West pennant race.

Santana (9-8, 3.10 ERA) has been two different pitchers this season.  In the right-hander's first 17 starts he went 3-8 with a 4.08 ERA.  However over his last eight starts, Santana has compiled a stellar 6-0 record while limiting opposing teams to just 10 earned runs over his last 64 innings (1.41 ERA), while recording three complete games - one being a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on July 27th.  

Tonight's start will be a true test of Santana's skill as he'll be facing a hot Texas lineup.  Six of the nine Ranger regulars have hit .280 or better over the last two weeks, and have outscored their opponents 80-46.  Although Santana has pitched brilliantly, he hasn't been facing the toughest opponents.  Over his past nine starts the Angels are 8-1, but the teams he's faced are a combined 442-523 (.458 winning %).

Taking the hill for the visiting Rangers will be C.J. Wilson (11-5, 3.74 ERA).  The left-hander suffered a 1-0 complete game loss to the Angels on July 21 when he allowed just two hits and eight strike outs and an unearned run.

The Angels have averaged just 3.5 runs per game in the month of August, but will look to streaking Torii Hunter to improve on that number.  Hunter, in the midst of a season-high 14 games, has raised his average from .232 to .257 in the month while batting .442.  During his recent streak, Hunter has compiled an amazing .525 BABIP and been on base in almost half of his plate appearances.

FUN FACTS:

  • Last night's loss was the first time the Angels have lost back-to-back games at home since June 8th and 10th.
  • Five of the next 8 games against the Rangers will be played in Anaheim.
  • The club is 2-43 when trailing after 7 innings.
  • The Angels have won seven times while collecting four hits or less. This leads the majors.

Who's Hot - Last 14 Days:
Torii Hunter - 22 for his last 48 (.458), 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR
Peter Bourjos - 13 for his last 43 (.302), 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR

Endy Chavez - 9 for his last 26 (.346),2 2B, 1 HR
Josh Hamilton - 18 for his last 59 (.305), 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Mitch Moreland - 15 for his last 45 (.333)
Mike Napoli - 14 for his last 49 (.286), 10 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Yorvit Torrealba - 20 for his last 49 (.408), 5 2B
Michael Young - 21 for his last 56 (.375), 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI

Who's Cold - Last 14 Days:
Erick Aybar - 6 for his last 50 (.120)
Vernon Wells - 6 for his last 51 (.118)
Bobby Abreu - 7 for his last 41 (.171)
Jeff Mathis - 2 for his last 19 (.105)

Game time is 7:05pm (PDT) and will be show on Fox Sports West.  For more Angels' news, be sure to check out Halos Heaven.

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