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Colon throws 38 straight strikes vs. Angels

His last time out, Ervin Santana finally reaped the benefits of a strong start.

The right-hander had been no stranger to tough-luck losses this season, dropping his first six decisions, including his previous two outings, when he allowed two runs in seven innings and three runs in eight frames.

On Wednesday, Santana earned his first victory while holding the Twins to two runs in 7 1/3 innings.

"I was very excited," Santana said after the 6-2 win. "Our teammates do everything to score runs, even in past games, and today we did it."

Santana will attempt to build upon his reversal of fortunes on Tuesday against Oakland, against whom he yielded four runs in seven innings in a 6-0 loss on April 18. On that day, Bartolo Colon -- who will oppose Santana on Tuesday -- hurled eight scoreless innings and at one point threw 38 straight strikes. In 11 career starts as a visitor at Angel Stadium, the former Angels ace is 7-1 with a 2.10 ERA.

However, Colon, who will celebrate his 39th birthday on May 24, is coming off of his worst start of the season. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings on Thursday while serving up eight runs (seven earned) in a 10-6 loss to Detroit. The outing raised his ERA from 2.83 to 3.96.

"He was in the middle of the plate a lot, and usually he's not," A's skipper Bob Melvin said. "Usually he's on the corners. That's what it looked like to me. It just looked like there were a lot of good swings that you don't normally see off of him."

Athletics: Injuries, returns force lineup juggle
Brandon Inge joined the bench on Monday as he continued his bout with right groin tightness, but Jemile Weeks and Kurt Suzuki rejoined the lineup and Kila Ka'aihue and Coco Crisp inched closer to returns.

Ka'aihue missed his third consecutive game on Monday because of a tight right hamstring.

Weeks and Suzuki missed Sunday's loss to Detroit with a sprained left ankle and banged-up left hand, respectively. Both started on Monday.

Melvin sounded concerned about Inge's injury.

"I'm a little leery of trying to have him go out there, the way he plays the game," Melvin said. "He's max effort, all-out all the time. That's the thing I worry about. Getting out of the box, if you tweak that thing again, now you're looking at the DL. We want to get him to a point where he feels like he's ready to play and then give him one more day.

"We'll know more later, but I talked to him some, too, and he really wants to see how he feels swinging and being out on the field, as far as taking ground balls and so forth. He'll do a little more than yesterday, but you have to be careful with that."

Crisp, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 4 with an inner ear infection, could be activated on Friday if he appears to have built up endurance, Melvin said.

Angels: Club places Hunter on restricted list
The Angels called up outfielder Ryan Langerhans on Monday to replace Torii Hunter, who was placed on the restricted list to deal with what the team called a personal matter.

Hunter's 17-year-old son was one of five arrested in Prosper, Texas, on Monday after a month-long investigation into an alleged sexual assault, according to a Prosper Police Department release. There is no limit to the amount of time a player can spend on the restricted list.

"It's a personal issue, and we're going to go day to day with it," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Darius McClinton-Hunter was one of two adults arrested on sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony.

"Baseball takes a backseat when things like this happen," said left fielder Vernon Wells. "You're more worried about just the home than anything baseball related. ... Any time something's going on with one of your kids, it's going to hit you pretty hard. He's all about family, all about his kids. You just pray that whatever's going on, it turns out the best for everyone involved."

Hunter is batting .256 with five homers. He was mired in a 2-for-30 slump over his past nine games.

Langerhans did not play on Monday. He totes a career average of .226 in parts of nine years in the big leagues.

• The Angels have been scouring game video to check on Albert Pujols' mechanics at the plate. The first baseman is batting just .197 with one home run.

"There's a lot of video tape," Scioscia said, "that [hitter coach Mickey Hatcher is] poring through, we've pored through, Albert has pored through, and really, there's indicators on both sides of the fence as to what he's doing when he swings well and what he's doing when he's not so locked in. The key is the feel in the batter's box. And Albert's searching for a feel. ... There's not one clone to how he needs to look at the box. It comes into him getting a comfort level, getting a feel in the box, and once he gets that, just running with it. Because once he gets it, it stays for a long time."

Worth noting
• Suzuki's 544 starts behind the plate since 2008 are the most among Major League catchers.

• The Angels were shut out for a Major League-high eighth time on Monday.

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