Santana is shooting for a career high in wins and is 16-9 with a 4.00 earned run average in 29 starts this season. He reached the 16-win mark in a season for the third time in his career in Saturday's 7-4 win over Seattle, as he allowed three runs over 7 1/3 innings. Santana has won three straight and six of his last seven starts.
The right-hander, who is 8-5 in 14 road starts, will take on Cleveland for the ninth time in his tenure at the major league level. Santana is 0-6 with a 5.71 ERA over the first eight starts against the Indians.
Los Angeles needs a victory tonight to win the series and recorded its fifth victory in six tries last night in a 7-0 pounding of the Tribe. New catcher Hank Conger and Juan Rivera both drove in two runs and Hideki Matsui scored twice for the Angels, who received seven shutout innings from winning pitcher Jered Weaver. Matt Palmer tossed the final two frames to preserve the shutout.
"You try to mess with him a little bit, but at the same time try to loosen him up so he doesn't take those nerves into the game," Weaver said of working with Conger behind the plate. "I still get nervous out here, so for him not to be nervous -- I knew he was nervous."
It's pretty tough for the Angels to make the AL West-leading Texas Rangers nervous since they're 11 games ahead in the division.
Cleveland has dropped three of four games and registered only two hits in last night's loss. Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo had the hits, while starting pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was dealt the loss for allowing seven runs -- six earned -- and seven hits in only three innings.
"(Gomez) is a guy who has lived on the sinker down in the zone, and he wasn't able to throw that one for a strike today," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He needs some work on his secondary pitches, so if he doesn't have the sinker working, it's tough for him."
Fausto Carmona was able to put the clamps on a personal six-start losing streak his last time out and will toe the rubber again Thursday. Carmona pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out seven batters in last Friday's 2-0 win versus Minnesota.
Carmona, a right-hander, pushed his 2010 mark to 12-14 in 29 starts and lowered his earned run average to 3.86. He is 0-2 with a sparkling 1.90 ERA in six career games (3 starts) against the Halos.
The 2010 series between the Indians and Angels is tied at eight games apiece.