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CWS@LAA: Santana ties career high with 11 K's in win

While it would be easy to assume that Ervin Santana's recent success is because of certain adjustments he's made, the Angels right-hander says that's not the case.

"Nothing. Everything is the same," Santana said. "I just have better luck and have to keep it up, not try to change anything."

Either way, the change has been noticeable. Back on July 21, Santana was 4-10 with a 6.00 ERA. In 10 starts since then, he's 5-2 with a 3.08 ERA.

He'll hope to ride that wave of success into Saturday's contest against the Rangers in Arlington as the Angels fight for their playoff life. The Angels still sit two games back of the A's for the second American Wild Card spot, after Oakland defeated Seattle, while Texas' magic number for a playoff berth is one.

Santana dominated the White Sox in his previous outing, holding Chicago to just one run on two hits in seven innings of work for the win. He also matched a career high with 11 strikeouts thanks to his superb changeup.

Meanwhile, Derek Holland will take the hill for the Rangers, looking to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season.

He tossed just three innings against the A's on Monday, allowing three runs in three innings before being pulled after throwing 77 pitches. It marked Holland's shortest outing since allowing eight runs in 1 2/3 innings to the Mariners on May 30.

"I didn't do my part," Holland said after his no-decision. "I was very disappointed with the way I pitched. I was behind every batter and wasn't throwing anything for strikes. I was very erratic."

Against the Angels this season, the left-hander is 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA. His last time out against the Halos on Sept. 19, Holland picked up the win, allowing just two runs on six hits in seven innings of work.

Angels: Trout sets franchise record for runs scored
• Angels center fielder Mike Trout led off Friday's game against Rangers starter Ryan Dempster with a home run, setting a franchise record for runs in a season.

It was Trout's fifth leadoff homer of the year and allowed him to score his 125th run of the season, surpassing the 124 Vladimir Guerrero scored in 2004.

• Albert Pujols, still battling soreness in his calf stemming from the late-August series against the Red Sox, was back at first base on Friday. Since returning from the injury on Aug. 28, Pujols has started 21 games at designated hitter and seven at first base.

"There's not as much right now that you're going to do from the preventative end," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have to grind at these last six. If he's going to set himself back by playing the field the way he's doing it in the batter's box, obviously that's a huge consideration, and that's something we'll monitor on a day-to-day basis."

Rangers: After bullpen session, Darvish ready for Sunday
• Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who was skipped in his last start on Tuesday with stiffness in his neck, threw off the mound in the bullpen on Friday without any problems.

The Rangers expect him to be ready for his start on Sunday against the Angels after throwing 36 pitches.

"I was able to throw my bullpen without any discomfort," Darvish said. "When I make my next start, I don't think it will be a factor. I've been getting treatment and doing exercises, but mainly it has been rest."

Darvish's last start was on Sept. 20 against the Angels when he allowed one run over eight innings in a 3-1 victory. He is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his last five starts.

Worth noting
• The Rangers own the American League's best record when leading after five innings (75-6) and six innings (76-4).

• Angels shortstop Erick Aybar leads the American League in batting average since the start of August with a .348 clip. Comments