Los Angeles Angels: Yunel Escobar
May, 4, 2012
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
ANAHEIM -- Whatever semblance of momentum generated by Jered Weaver's no-hitter earlier in the week has dissipated.
The Angels were blanked for the second straight night Friday, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0. Starting pitcher Ervin Santana turned in his second straight quality start but fell to 0-6 on the season. The Angels have been shut out in each of his last five starts.
Albert Pujols went hitless in four at-bats and saw his batting average dip to .194. He was booed after striking out in the sixth inning and again after grounding out softly in the ninth.
The K. The usually slow-starting Santana struck out six of the first eight batters he faced, mixing a 95-mph fastball with a sharp slider to keep the Blue Jays guessing. He showed great feel for the zone early, something that had plagued him through his first five starts. Santana finished with 10 strikeouts, a new season-high and his eighth career double-digit strikeout performance.
Pace. It was the fourth straight shutout at Angel Stadium, following the mastery of Jerome Williams, Weaver and Brandon Morrow. The game lasted just two hours and 10 minutes, the fourth consecutive to be completed in under two and a half hours.
Fireworks. No offensive firepower during the game but fans were treated to the usual Friday-night fireworks show afterward, so there's that.
Carelessness. Just when it seemed as if Santana was in a groove, boom, he made two costly mistakes on consecutive pitches in the third inning. Yunel Escobar lined the first for a two-out run-scoring single, and reigning home run champ Jose Bautista followed with a blast to left-center field. It was the 11th home run Santana has surrendered this season, the most in baseball.
Lack of comeback. It might have been over as soon as Santana flinched, really. The Angels have just one come-from-behind victory all season and are 1-12 when the opponent scores first. Santana, meanwhile, has received only three runs of support in his six starts.
Aggressiveness. Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez, 22, needed only 97 pitches to dispose of the Angels. It was his first career complete game.