ANAHEIM (AP) – Ervin Santana pitched into the ninth inning of his fourth straight phenomenal start, and Mark Trumbo homered off Felix Hernandez in the Los Angeles Angels’ 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Santana (8-8) held the Mariners to seven hits and won his duel with Hernandez (10-10), whose 12 strikeouts were one shy of his career high. Santana lost his shutout bid on Mike Carp’s one-out homer in the ninth, and manager Mike Scioscia pulled him two outs short of his third consecutive complete game.
Santana, who threw a no-hitter against Cleveland two starts ago, is 5-0 in eight starts since June 21, yielding just 17 hits and two runs in 33 2-3 innings over his last four starts. He has struggled for run support throughout the season, but the Angels provided just enough to beat Hernandez, the defending AL Cy Young winner.
After Trumbo’s no-doubt homer in the third inning, Vernon Wells added a run-scoring single in the seventh for the Angels, who have won 17 of 22 at home while keeping pace with AL West leader Texas.
Hernandez retired 18 of the Angels’ first 19 hitters, striking out four in a row while racking up nine strikeouts in the first six innings. Hernandez limited the Angels to four hits and didn’t walk a batter in eight innings, yet he hasn’t beaten Los Angeles in eight starts since September 2009. He also dropped to 1-5 in 12 career starts at Angel Stadium.
The Mariners lost two of three in Anaheim despite giving up just four runs in the three-game weekend series.
Trumbo’s 22nd homer of his remarkable rookie season clanged off the fake rocks in center field. The Angels estimated its distance at 471 feet, the longest homer at Angel Stadium this season.
All-Star closer Jordan Walden got two outs for his 25th save.
While Hernandez mostly cruised through the pleasant afternoon game, Santana repeatedly escaped trouble. He gave up two straight hits in the third inning, but then threw out Kyle Seager at the plate on Jack Wilson’s tapper back to the pitcher before Erick Aybar made a sprinting catch on Dustin Ackley’s popup down the left-field line.
Seattle put two more runners on in the fourth, but Santana struck out prospect Trayvon Robinson, who hit his first career homer on Saturday.
After Carp homered on Santana’s 115th pitch, Santana left the game to a standing ovation. He stretched out both arms and looked to the sky on the way back to the dugout before doffing his cap to the Anaheim crowd.