Angels host slumping Dodgers

Dodgers (42-29) at Angels (39-32), 7:15 p.m. EDT

Mike Trout is on a tear, and the Los Angeles Angels are surging.

Another strong effort from Ervin Santana may just keep them rolling.

With Trout looking to continue his hot hitting, Santana will try to build on one of the best performances of his career Saturday as the Angels go for another win against the sputtering Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 20-year-old Trout is second in the AL with a .338 average. The outfielder is 7 for 12 with six runs scored during the Angels’ three-game winning streak, which continued Friday as he connected for a solo homer to put the Angels (39-32) ahead for good in an 8-5 win to open this three-game Freeway Series.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve come to expect it, but I’m definitely not surprised by it, personally,” teammate Mark Trumbo said. “He’s the total package. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never played with anybody who’s anywhere near as advanced as he is at this age. He’s a big part of the reason why we’ve been playing a lot better.”

The Angels’ 21-7 stretch has also been spurred by a 3.09 ERA from the staff, even though Santana (4-7, 5.16 ERA) has largely struggled.

The right-hander had posted a 10.18 ERA in his previous four starts before last Saturday, when he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with a one-hitter in a 2-0 win over Arizona. He walked just one after issuing 15 free passes over his previous 20 1-3 innings.

“He’s as competitive as any pitcher in baseball, and you saw that,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He pitched with purpose, and it all goes along to committing to a game plan. If he commits, that’s what he can do.”

Santana is 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five home starts against the Dodgers (42-29), and the Angels have won 12 of the last 16 meetings.

The Dodgers have opened this stretch of nine straight road games with four consecutive losses, and they haven’t endured a longer slide as the visitor since a six-game road skid Aug. 28-Sept. 9, 2010.

They’re hitting .160 with seven runs on this trip despite collecting 12 hits in the opener of this series.

Andre Ethier had three hits Friday and owns a .404 average in his past 13 games against the Angels. He’s 5 for 15 with a homer off Santana.

Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.71) would appreciate some help from Ethier and the rest of the lineup.

The left-hander has been backed by two total runs over his last two starts, and both of those came in a 3-2 loss to the Angels on June 11. He allowed two runs and eight hits with four walks in five-plus innings while not getting a decision.

Capuano followed that up Sunday with one of his best performances of the year, yielding one run and six hits while striking out a season-high 12 in eight innings of a 2-1, 10-inning win over the Chicago White Sox.

Capuano has never pitched in Anaheim but hasn’t been sharp in his last two road starts, allowing four homers, five walks and 11 runs in 10 1-3 innings.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.