Ervin Santana maintained his brilliant form on the mound with a third straight pitching gem to lead the Los Angeles Angels past the Seattle Mariners 2-1 on Sunday.
Santana has won five of his last seven starts in the stretch, including a no-hitter on July 27 and a complete-game win last Tuesday, by outdueling last season’s Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” Santana told reporters. “I’m doing things the same so I don’t know what’s going on.”
“[Hernandez] is one of the tough pitchers in the league ... it was hard to beat him today,” Santana said.
Hernandez (10-10) struck out 12 batters in eight innings, but was no match for the surging Santana (8-8), who had seven strikeouts of his own and almost managed a third consecutive complete-game.
However, Santana was relieved with one out in the ninth inning after Mike Carp blasted a homer to pull Seattle (49-64) within a run.
Reliever Jordan Walden came on to get the last two outs of the game as the Angels (63-52) stayed one-game behind first-place Texas in the American League West after the Rangers beat Cleveland 5-3.
Mark Trumbo slugged a home run in the third and the Angels added another in the seventh to provide a 2-0 lead for Santana, who has not lost a start since June 21.
Rookie Trumbo is putting together a strong first-year campaign and leads Los Angeles with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs.
“I didn’t really know what to expect [this year], but if you have a good foundation and thought process going into it, the results will come,” Trumbo said. “The home run [today] was nice, but the fact that it helped us get this big win is awesome.”
The Mariners, who rank last in the Major Leagues in many offensive categories, failed to give Fernandez the offensive support he needed.
Seattle had runners in scoring position in the third and fourth, but failed to deliver.
Carp went 3-for-4 and Kyle Seager added two hits, but the Mariners were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Hernandez allowed just one hit through six innings, the home run in the third, before Los Angeles got to him in the seventh.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 2
In Boston, Josh Reddick hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning as the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees.
With the win, the Red Sox took over sole possession of first place in the American League East and clinched a win in the season series against New York for the first time since 2004.
The Yankees led 2-1 on homers by Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner before Mariano Rivera came in to close it out in the ninth, but he gave up a leadoff double to Marco Scutaro — his fourth hit of the game.
Jacoby Ellsbury moved him up with a sacrifice — and almost beat the throw at first — and Dustin Pedroia brought him home on a sacrifice fly.
In other AL play, it was:
White Sox 7, Twins 0
Rangers 5, Indians 3
Royals 4, Tigers 3
Blue Jays 7, Orioles 2
Athletics 5, Rays 4, 10 innings
AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania
The fading Pittsburgh Pirates finished up the worst home series in their 125-year history to lose their 10th straight game overall, beaten by Mat Latos (6-11) and the San Diego Padres 7-3 on Sunday.
Latos’ mastery continued the misery for the Pirates, who completed an 0-7 stay at PNC Park against the last-place Padres and Chicago Cubs, two teams that were a combined 39 games under .500 when the week began.