Published November 20, 2014
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ervin Santana maintained his brilliant form on the mound with a third straight pitching gem to lead the Los Angeles Angels past the Seattle Mariners 2-1 on Sunday.
Santana has won five of his last seven starts in the stretch, including a no-hitter on July 27 and a complete-game win last Tuesday, by outdueling last season's Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.
"I don't know what I'm doing," Santana told reporters. "I'm doing things the same so I don't know what's going on.
"(Hernandez) is one of the tough pitchers in the league... it was hard to beat him today."
Hernandez (10-10) struck out 12 batters in eight innings but was no match for the surging Santana (8-8), who had seven strikeouts of his own and almost managed a third consecutive complete-game.
However, Santana was relieved with one out in the ninth inning after Mike Carp blasted a homer to pull Seattle (49-64) within a run.
Reliever Jordan Walden came on to get the last two outs of the game as the Angels (63-52) stayed one-game behind first-place Texas in the American League West after the Rangers beat Cleveland 5-3.
Mark Trumbo slugged a home run in the third and the Angels added another in the seventh to provide a 2-0 lead for Santana, who has not lost a start since June 21.
Rookie Trumbo is putting together a strong first-year campaign and leads Los Angeles with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs.
"I didn't really know what to expect (this year), but if you have a good foundation and thought process going into it the results will come," Trumbo said.
"The home run (today) was nice but the fact that it helped us get this big win is awesome."
The Mariners, who rank last in the Major Leagues in many offensive categories, failed to give Fernandez the offensive support he needed.
Seattle had runners in scoring position in the third and fourth but failed to deliver.
Carp went 3-for-4 and Kyle Seager added two hits but the Mariners were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Hernandez allowed just one hit through six innings, the home run in the third, before Los Angeles got to him in the seventh.
Breaking free of their franchise-record 17 straight losses last month, Seattle has since won six of their last 10 games.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by John O'Brien)