ANAHEIM - - Ervin Santana pitched nine solid innings to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Atlanta Braves, 9-0, to stop a five-game losing streak. It was Santana’s sixth career shutout and he did it on only 103 pitches.
How it happened: Apart from Santana’s excellent outing, the Angels got some offense. Peter Bourjos opened the second inning with a double to right field. He was then moved to third by a Maicer Izturis grounder to second base. After that, all went wrong for Braves starter Tim Hudson. He hit Erick Aybar with a pitch, surrendered an RBI double to Bobby Abreu, an RBI hit to Torii Hunter and then intentionally walked Alberto Callaspo. One out later, Mark Trumbo hit a three-run home run to left field that gave the Angels 6-0 lead. Later, they added two more runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
What it means: With the win, the Angels halted a five-game losing streak and brought their record to .500, a day after going one game under for the first time this season.
Cruising: Santana claimed his second win of the season in nine outings working the whole game for the sixth shutout of his career. Coming into the game, he had given up four or more runs in five of last six starts. That was not the case Friday. He gave up only four hits, two to Eric Hinske and two to Joe Mather. At one point, Santana retired 12 in a row and late 16 of 17. Commanding a great slider all night, Santana struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. He threw a total of 103 pitches, 70 of them for strikes.
Offensive spark: The Angels came into the game having scored only one run in the previous 30 innings but things changed rapidly in the third when they scored six runs taking advantge of doubles by Bourjos and Abreu, a hit by Hunter, a hit by pitch to Aybar, an intentional walk to Callaspo and a three run homer by Trumbo.
Stat of the game: Hudson hit two consecutive Angels in the fourth inning and three in 3 2/3 innings. He also had three walks, one of them intentional, and paid the price for all but one of these as he left the game down 8-0.
Up next: Angels’ right-hander Joel Piñeiro (2-0, 1.98) will take the mound Saturday at 7:05 p.m. for the second game of the three-game interleague series against the Braves, who will have start right-hander Tommy Hanson (5-3, 2.35).