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Ervin Santana's gem leads Angels to 3-1 victory and sweep of Blue Jays

April 18, 2010 | 12:40 pm


Ervin Santana threw his sixth career complete game Sunday, giving up one run and four hits and needing only 106 pitches to dispatch of the Toronto Blue Jays, in leading the Angels to a 3-1 victory and a rare three-game sweep in the Rogers Centre, where they entered the weekend with a 39-66 record, their worst mark at any park.

Santana struck out six and walked none, and the right-hander retired 16 consecutive batters before giving up a solo home run to Adam Lind on a full-count pitch with two outs in the ninth inning. Only one other Toronto runner reached third, and one reached second.

The Angels scored their first run in the sixth inning on a two-out, run-scoring double by Hideki Matsui, the 200th double of the Japanese slugger's major league career.

Erick Aybar led off the inning with a double to the gap in left-center off Toronto starter Ricky Romero, the former Cal State Fullerton left-hander who allowed one run and five hits, struck out six and walked two.

Howie Kendrick popped out on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and Bobby Abreu grounded back to the mound, but Matsui ripped a double to left-center for a 1-0 lead. Five of Matsui's eight runs batted in this season have given the Angels the lead.

The Angels padded that lead off reliever Scott Downs in the ninth with a rally that Matsui started with another double to left-center. Mike Napoli came on to pinch run for Matsui, and Kendry Morales hit a hard but very playable grounder to first.

But the ball skipped under the glove and through the legs of first baseman Lyle Overbay, who was also struggling with an .085 batting average entering Sunday's game, allowing Napoli to score for a 2-0 lead. Morales took second on right fielder Travis Snider's throw home.

Juan Rivera struck out, but Jeff Mathis drove a double into the left-center field gap to score Morales for a 3-0 Angels lead.

For more on Santana and the Angels' sweep, go to

--Mike DiGiovanna, reporting from Toronto

Photo: Ervin Santana in a start last week against the Yankees. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA