Santiago's resurgence is just what Angels need
ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Hector Santiago set the tone for the Angels on Tuesday night, striking out the side in the first and working through six sharp innings that an overworked bullpen needed.
His offense delivered 15 hits, scoring four runs in the second inning, six in the sixth and four in the seventh to power a 14-1 victory over the Athletics at Angel Stadium, the Angels' first win at home in five tries this season.
"I said, 'Yes!' It was like they like playing behind me now," said Santiago (2-1), who was winless in his first 11 starts with the Angels, often lacking run support in the first half of last season.
"Everything was working tonight, all five or six pitches that I throw, I threw for strikes," added Santiago, who struck out eight and gave up just three hits, including a Billy Butler home run in the third inning after the Angels took a 4-0 lead. Santiago threw 101 pitches, and after the Angels made it 10-1 in the sixth, manager Mike Scioscia decided that was enough.
"Hector started out with great life on his fastball," Scioscia said. "He did a good job pitching inside and had a good breaking ball, too. He was confident, and he gave us six strong innings."
The result was a lopsided one, but the call of the night that led to the Angels' avalanche was made by designated hitter C.J. Cron in the second inning.
He hustled down the line on a grounder that forced out Erick Aybar at second, and when first-base umpire Mike Muchlinski called Cron out at first on the relay throw, completing an inning-ending double play, Cron heard the call and waved his finger, like Dikembe Mutombo, to disagree.
Scioscia challenged, and a replay review overturned the call -- which extended the inning and led to the first four Angels runs, including three on second baseman Johnny Giavotella's first Angels home run.
"I don't know what I was doing," Cron said of his finger-wave. "I thought I was safe, for sure. I saw the call, and I said, 'No, no.'
"It was huge. We needed to score some runs with two out."
Right fielder Kole Calhoun went 4-for-5, including a three-run homer in the seventh. Giavotella had two hits, and a career-best four RBIs.
"It was a good win for us," Giavotella said. "This team has been kind of struggling. Tonight, our bats woke up and we did what we're capable of doing."
Cron added a couple of hits to the Angels' outburst, a single and a double, both to the opposite field.
"I feel better, a lot better," said Cron, who started the season 0-for-13 but is 6-for-23 since. "I had a little bit of a slump early, but I wasn't worried."