Ervin Santana takes another shot at win No. 1 this evening when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continue a four-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium.
Santana enters tonight's tilt on the heels of his best showing yet, but one that still ended in defeat, as the Angels failed to produce a run for him for the fourth straight time. Santana held the Cleveland Indians to a pair of runs in seven innings, but still fell to 0-5 and lowered his ERA to 6.16.
"I feel bad. Santana pitched his butt off," said outfielder Torii Hunter, who misplayed a fly ball in that start, leading to the two runs.
Santana has faced the Blue Jays 12 times and is 6-4 against them with a 3.70 ERA.
It was more of the same for the Angels in Thursday's opener, as Brandon Morrow tossed the second shutout of his career, lifting the Blue Jays to a 5-0 win.
Morrow (3-0) fanned eight and allowed just three hits for Toronto, which has won five of its last six.
"My fastball command is what did it tonight," Morrow said. "Most of my strikeouts were on sliders. I was able to change speeds. I had better life on my fastball, I could hit down and away anytime I wanted to."
J.P. Arencibia smacked a three-run homer, while Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar and Brett Lawrie each had two hits and a run scored.
Dan Haren (1-2) gave up five runs -- three earned -- on five hits and two walks for the Angels, who had their three-game winning steak snapped.
"I put us behind the eight ball and it's tough to play catch-up with a pitcher (Morrow) like that," Haren said.
Albert Pujols continued to struggle, as the three-time NL MVP went 0-for-3, dropping his average to .202 on the year. He's still yet to hit a home run and is a mere 5-for-50 over his last 13 games with one RBI and eight strikeouts.
Hoping to keep him at bay tonight will be righty Henderson Alvarez, who is 1-2 with a 3.62 ERA. Alvarez picked up his first win of the season on Sunday against Seattle, as he allowed a run and six hits in six innings.
He made one start against the Angels last season, but did not get a decision. He surrendered three runs and seven hits in seven innings of that one.
Alvarez tonight will also be trying to stretch the Blue Jays' team record of having a starter throw at least five innings to 29.