Ervin Santana and Sandy Koufax, same sentence

The Angels entrust their season to the hottest pitcher in baseball tonight. Just how good a run is Ervin Santana on?

Since Santana's July 27 no-hitter, he won his next three starts and has gone more than eight innings in all of them, giving up one earned run or fewer. The only other pitcher to ever do that is Sandy Koufax, who followed his June 4, 1964 no-hitter with three dominant starts.

So, there's a link that otherwise wouldn't remotely exist. Santana, for perhaps one brief stretch, knows what it's like to be the best in the game.

"He's a guy that, when he gets it, he usually keeps it for a long time," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Trailing the first-place Texas Rangers by six games going into their game Wednesday, the Angels had better hope he keeps it for a while. Here are the lineups for Wednesday:


1. Ian Kinsler 2B

2. Elvis Andrus SS

3. Josh Hamilton LF

4. Michael Young 3B

5. Nelson Cruz RF

6. Mike Napoli DH

7. Mitch Moreland 1B

8. Yorvit Torrealba C

9. Endy Chavez CF


1. Maicer Izturis DH

2. Peter Bourjos CF

3. Howie Kendrick 2B

4. Torii Hunter

5. Mark Trumbo 1B

6. Vernon Wells LF

7. Alberto Callaspo 3B

8. Erick Aybar SS

9. Bobby Wilson C