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No-hitter payback for Angels' Santana

CLEVELAND — Sharp from his first pitch, Ervin Santana came full cycle against the Indians.

Santana threw the Angels' first solo no-hitter in nearly 27 years and exacted some long overdue revenge, leading Los Angeles over Cleveland 3-1 Wednesday.

It was the first no-hitter at Progressive Field, which opened as Jacobs Field in 1994. And it marked quite a reversal for the 28-year-old right-hander.

Santana made his big-league debut on this very field on May 17, 2005, and the Indians gave him a rude welcome. The first four batters he faced teamed up to hit for the cycle.

Asked to recall that rough outing, Santana smiled and shrugged. "It's part of life," he said. "We're here today, we don't know tomorrow."

Santana allowed only two runners, an error by shortstop Erick Aybar on leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera in the first (he scored after a steal, groundout and wild pitch) and a walk in the eighth.

Just once was Santana's gem in jeopardy, and second baseman Howie Kendrick's nifty play saved it in the sixth.

It was the third no-hitter in the majors this season. The Twins' Francisco Liriano did it against the White Sox on May 3, and Tigers ace Justin Verlander beat the Blue Jays on May 7.

Santana threw the Angels' first complete-game no-hitter since Mike Witt pitched a perfect game on Sept. 30, 1984, against Texas. Mark Langston (seven innings) and Witt (two) combined to hold Seattle hitless on April 11, 1990.

Santana said he began to think a no-hitter was within reach after he got through the eighth.

"Lots of guys get to five, six innings, but that's when things get a little complicated," said Santana, who took a no-hit bid into the sixth against Baltimore in his previous start.

The closest Cleveland got to a hit came when rookie Jason Kipnis led off the sixth with a grounder past Santana. Kendrick made a diving backhanded stop and threw from his knees, and first baseman Mark Trumbo scooped out the low throw.

"I knew the situation. We all did," Kendrick said. "I wanted to get to that ball and at least knock it down. I was happy to play a part."

Santana said he was pretty loose for much of the afternoon. He kept talking to teammates in the dugout, not worrying about superstitions. "I was goofing around, talking to them. Around the seventh or eighth, it got a little more intense," he said.

Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia: "It's anything but tension.

"When you see a guy get within nine outs, then six outs, then three outs … your focus is winning the game, but past that, you're looking for that cherry on top, which Ervin delivered."

Angels 3

Indians 1

No-hitter payback for Angels' Santana 07/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:41pm]
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