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Angels soaring above .500; Dodgers moving backwards

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Rookie Ervin Santana's first start as a
permanent member of the Los Angeles Angels' starting rotation
couldn't have been much better.

It's a good thing considering the Angels' lack of offense
against Brad Penny.

Santana overcame a shaky start to pitch 6 2/3 solid innings, and
the Angels packed their entire offense into the second to beat the
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 Saturday night.

The Angels announced early in the game that right-hander Kelvim
Escobar needed arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow and will
be sidelined at least two months.

Santana was making his fifth big-league start as a replacement
for Escobar, who is serving his third stint on the disabled list
this season.

"I'll be taking his spot. I'll try to do the best I can," said
Santana, a 22-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic.

He had to do well to beat Penny (3-5), who pitched hitless ball
in his final 5 2/3 innings after allowing all the Angels' hits
(four) and runs (three) in the second.

Penny, who worked seven innings, and Kelly Wunsch combined to
retire the last 15 Angels batters.

"We didn't have a lot going offensively," Angels manager Mike
Scioscia said. "Fortunately, we pitched and played defense."

The win was the fifth straight for the Angels, moving them a
season-high 15 games over .500. They have won eight of 11 on a
12-game homestand that finishes Sunday, and lead the second-place
Texas Rangers by 5½ games in the AL West.

The Dodgers have been going the other way, having lost 10 of 12
on a 13-game road trip that winds up Sunday. They trail the NL
West-leading San Diego Padres by 5½ games.

The Angels have beaten the Dodgers four times in five games this
season and in 11 of the last 15 meetings between the teams.

The Dodgers have scored one run in the first two games of this
series, going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Santana (2-2) allowed one run and seven hits before being
relieved by Scot Shields with two outs and a runner at second in
the seventh. Santana, who threw 111 pitches, walked one and struck
out seven.

Shields pitched a scoreless eighth and Francisco Rodriguez
worked the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

Santana gave up five hits and a walk in the first 2 1/3 innings
before retiring 11 straight batters.

"Never nervous," Santana said. "I was trying to hit my spot.
That's it. After the third inning, everything was good, down. I was
locating my fastball. I feel very good, confident in myself."

Jayson Werth hit Santana's first pitch in the second over the
left-center field fence for his second homer, but the Angels scored
their three runs in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by
Orlando Cabrera and an RBI double by Adam Kennedy.

"They got a couple of bloop hits in the second inning and it
worked out for them," Penny said. "The one pitch they hit hard
was Cabrera's. I left it right over the middle of the plate, a
stupid pitch on my part. But what can I say about the other three
hits they got that inning?"

Two were infield hits and Kennedy's double was a blooper to the
opposite field.

Cabrera was 4-of-42 in his career against Penny before hitting a
hard grounder inside third to drive in Dallas McPherson and Jeff
DaVanon.

The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the third, but
Santana pitched out of trouble by striking out Werth and retiring
Hee-Seop Choi on a popup to the catcher.

The Dodgers didn't have another baserunner until Mike Edwards
singled to start the seventh. Cody Ross grounded into a double play
before rookie Mike Rose doubled to chase Santana. Shields retired
Cesar Izturis on a grounder to second to end the inning.

The Dodgers got two hits off Shields in the eighth before Werth
grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"One of the problems is that we've been trying too hard," the
Dodgers' Olmedo Saenz said.

Game notes
A crowd of 44,107 attended the game -- the 15th sellout at
Angel Stadium this season. ... Kennedy's second-inning double
extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games. ... Dodgers
OF J.D. Drew missed his fourth straight game because of a sore left
knee. He remains day-to-day. ... The Angels have a 22-13 record
against the Dodgers since Scioscia became their manager in 2000.
... Angels leadoff batter Chone Figgins got an infield hit in the
second to snap an 0-for-11 drought. ... McPherson left in the
seventh due to a tight left groin and said afterward he wouldn't
play Sunday. McPherson was replaced by Maicer Izturis, marking the
first time he has played against Cesar Izturis, his half brother,
in the majors.