Jerome Williams has a tough act to follow when he takes the mound for the LA Angels of Anaheim tonight in the opener of a brief two-game series versus the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium.
Angels hurler Ervin Santana won back-to-back starts for the first time this season in Tuesday's 4-0 win over the Oakland Athletics with 7 2/3 shutout innings and nine strikeouts. He scattered four hits and walked three.
"I felt great today, I had good command. It is much easier when you have run support," said Santana. "My first inning was tough and then I felt better after that. I threw strikes and tried to stay ahead of the hitters."
Scott Downs got the final out in the eighth and the first two hitters in the ninth before Ernesto Frieri struck out Kurt Suzuki to end the game.
Mike Trout went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and three runs scored, Albert Pujols had three hits for the first time since April 19th and added two RBI and Alberto Callaspo finished with an RBI double among his two hits for the Angels, who had lost three of their last four games.
The Angels fired hitting coach Mickey Hatcher and replaced him with Triple-A Salt Lake hitting coach Jim Eppard.
Williams, meanwhile, is 3-0 in his last five appearances and did not record a decision in Friday's 10-3 loss at Texas in which he allowed six runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He is 3-1 on the year with a 4.19 ERA in six games (5 starts) and 3-0 in three starts at home.
The right-hander has no record and a 2.57 ERA in two career games (1 start) against the White Sox.
Chicago will begin a five-game road trip tonight and has lost three of four games since winning three in a row.
In Tuesday's 10-8 loss versus Detroit in the finale of a short two-game series, A.J. Pierzynski finished 5-for-5 and knocked in three runs, while Paul Konerko added a solo shot and scored three times.
Will Ohman took the loss after giving up Austin Jackson's go-ahead blast in relief of starter Jake Peavy, who cruised through five frames before giving up six earned runs in the sixth.
"If I say I'm ready then it's on me," said Ohman. "I got beat. I cost us the game."
Gavin Floyd hopes for better results when he gets the call tonight. Floyd is unbeaten in his last three starts (2-0) and delivered 7 2/3 shutout innings in Friday's 5-0 win over Kansas City. The win evened his mark at 3-3 in seven starts and lowered his ERA to 2.53.
Floyd, a right-hander, is 0-2 in three road starts this season and hasn't fared so well in his career against the Angels. He is 2-4 with a 4.32 ERA in seven career starts in this series.
Chicago lost six of eight meetings with Anaheim a year ago.