ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Rookie Ervin Santana took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Saturday in a matchup of AL division leaders.

The loss was the sixth in 22 games for the Red Sox, who lead the New York Yankees by three games in the AL East. Boston will move Curt Schilling back into the rotation Thursday night in Kansas City, ending his inconsistent stint as the team’s closer.

Santana (7-5), who had an 11.34 ERA in four previous daytime starts, allowed five hits and two runs in 7 2-3 innings while throwing 111 pitches.

He retired his first 11 batters and 21 of the first 23. The only baserunners for the Red Sox in the first seven innings were David Ortiz, who hit a two-out double in the fourth, and Edgar Renteria, who doubled to start the seventh. Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller singled to open the eighth. Santana retired the next two batters before Johnny Damon singled to load the bases. Scot Shields relieved and allowed a two-run single to Renteria before striking out Ortiz on a changeup to end the inning. Francisco Rodriguez worked the ninth for his 28th save in 33 chances.

Santana, a 22-year-old right-hander, was facing baseball’s most potent offense for the first time. The Red Sox entered with a .285 team batting average and 689 runs – both tops in the majors. He walked none and struck out five – all in the first two innings. He won for the fourth time in five decisions since the All-Star break.

The Angels took a 2-0 lead against Bronson Arroyo (10-8) in the third when Darin Erstad hit a two-out RBI single to drive in Adam Kennedy from second, and Orlando Cabrera also scored on an error by center fielder Damon – his second of the season.

Erstad had the only hit in the inning.

Arroyo allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings. He walked three, struck out four and threw 116 pitches.

Notes: Schilling has been serving as the team’s closer in the absence of Keith Foulke, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last month. … Garret Anderson missed his seventh game due to irritation in his lower back and left knee. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Anderson’s bloodwork came back normal, and he hopes the All-Star outfielder will return during a three-game series in Baltimore that begins Tuesday night. … The Red Sox placed OF Adam Stern on the 15-day disabled list due to a sprained right thumb and recalled DiNardo from Triple-A Pawtucket. … Erstad, the only player to win a Gold Glove at first base and in the outfield, served as the designated hitter for the first time since Aug. 4, 2002. … Figgins extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

AP-ES-08-20-05 1919EDT


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