ANAHEIM -- Ervin Santana's parents had yet to see their son pitch in 2012, and before they came to Saturday's game against the D-backs, times had been tough lately.In four starts before Saturday, Santana surrendered 23 runs in 20 1/3 innings, giving up six home runs and walking 15 batters. But against the D-backs, with his parents in attendance having come all the way from the Dominican Republic, Santana (4-7) was brilliant. The righty threw 6 2/3 perfect innings en route to a one-hit shutout, his first since May 20, 2011, and the seventh in his career. Though his counterpart and former teammate, Joe Saunders, told him to keep his head up before the game, Santana's go-to whenever things aren't going well has always been his parents. "Mom and Dad," Santana said following his win," nothing better than that." Santana's parents make a trip to see him nearly every year, and they couldn't have come to a better game this season, as the 29-year-old offered up his dad an early Father's Day present in the process. Though he was sure to mention his mother would be the one making all the delicious Latin food during his parents' visit, Santana said it was a tossup between his mom and dad as to who knows the most about pitching. They both know enough to get upset when things aren't going well for their son, however. "They're both good," said a smiling Santana. "If anything's wrong, they get [ticked]. So I don't want to hear it because it's very bad."
Angels look to cash in on scoring chances
ANAHEIM -- Though the Angels have managed three wins in their past five games, they've done so in spite of their offense.They scored just nine runs in five games entering Sunday's finale with the D-backs, but it isn't though the Angels (35-31) aren't getting chances. During the five-game stretch, the Angels had only four hits in their last 40 at-bats with runners in scoring position. And of those four hits, the Angels have plated runners with just two of them. That's two run-scoring hits in their last 40 at-bats with a man on second and/or third. Though they haven't been successful recently when they've had chances to score runs, struggles with RISP are nothing new for the Angels. Their .242 average with RISP ranks 19th in the Majors and 12th in the American League. Angels pitchers are throwing well, despite any help from the offense, which is something manager Mike Scioscia has noted after nearly every game since the team returned from hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado. "We had a lot of chances and couldn't get a couple of runs across and give [Ervin Santana] a little breathing room," Scioscia said after Santana's one-hit shutout in the Angels' 2-0 win on Saturday. "We just had Dan [Haren] pitching with his back against the wall too much," he said after the Angels' 5-0 loss on Friday. "We're struggling. We were fortunate we pitched well," he said after a 2-1 win against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Mark Trumbo said the Angels have just run into a string of sharp pitching, which has led to their lack of success on offense. But he said it's simply a rut the offense will find itself on the other side of soon enough.
Bourjos gets a rare start
ANAHEIM -- Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos started on Sunday for the first time since June 6.With Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Torii Hunter among the hottest bats in the Angels' lineup, there simply hasn't been room for Bourjos, manager Mike Scioscia said. The 25-year-old had only seven at-bats since June 1 heading into the finale with the D-backs. "We have some guys who play at a high level that need to be out there, but we're going to give Pete a chance to contribute as much as we can," Scioscia said. "I think his role will be there." In 97 at-bats this season, Bourjos is batting .216 with one home run and nine RBIs. He's behind two of the American League's top hitters since May 1 in Trout (.341 average) and Trumbo (.327) and Hunter, who's batting .405 in his last 10 games. With six of the last nine Angels games coming in National League parks, Scioscia said he just doesn't have the room to fit Bourjos in right now. But he's dealing with the lack of playing time well and staying ready.
The Angels optioned catcher Hank Conger back to Triple-A Salt Lake after Sunday's 2-0 win against the D-backs. Bobby Wilson, who was on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion, will be activated on Monday.
Jered Weaver threw a bullpen before Sunday's game, and Scioscia said he "felt great" afterward. The team is going to assess him Monday and decide how to progress from there.
When asked if it's possible that Weaver, who has been out since May 28 with a lower back strain, could pitch this week, Scioscia said, "We'll see."
"This is evolving," he said. "We have a couple scenarios we're looking at."
Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.