Found May 16, 2012 on Fox Sports West:
ANAHEIM, Calif. Even when things were at their worst, Ervin Santana remained steady. He never changed his stuff, never lost his confidence, never blamed the Angels' offense for his string of losses. He just kept pitching. Santana figured it would pay off; he just didn't know when. But now he's won two starts in a row, and maybe it's a sign that the Angels are finding some stability. Pitching is surely going to carry them. Despite a lineup that looks formidable on paper, they continue to struggle at the plate. You don't dismiss your hitting coach -- which the Angels did Monday when Mickey Hatcher was fired after a 4-0 win over the Oakland A's -- if your offense is producing. The Angels rank near the bottom of the American League in runs and total bases, and they've been shut out a league high eight times. A change was called for. It's their pitching that has carried them, and specifically their starting pitching that has provided the best results. Angels starters rank third in the AL in ERA (3.70) and second in opponents batting average (.235). Now that Santana looks back to his old self, there is little doubt the team will go as after as the starters take them. Santana is 2-6, but he's pitched seven innings or more and given up three earned runs or fewer in each of his past four starts. He served up 10 home runs in his first four starts but has allowed just two in his past four. The difference? "Nothing," he said. "I just keep pitching the same way I've been pitching the whole year and things changed. I just had a few rough outings and now it's time to move on and get better." Santana pitched as well Monday as he has all season. He gave up one hit through the first five innings and retired 16 consecutive batters at one point. Even when he loaded the bases after a hit and two walks, he struck out A's left fielder Seth Smith to end the inning. "He's executing," Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick said. "He's making good pitches and getting outs. Not that he wasn't going after guys earlier, but his command has been on point. If you see what he's been doing, he's been getting a lot of ground ball outs. That's what the difference is. "He's been lights out." Fastball command was Santana's biggest problem early in the season, but he now has that under control. He struck out nine A's, and although he walked three batters, he didn't give up a big hit. Best of all, he receiving offensive support. The Angels were shut out five times in a row during Santana's starts, but they scored six in his last start and four Monday, including a home run from rookie Mike Trout. Albert Pujols didn't get the ball out of the infield, but he had three infield singles, drove in two runs and got his batting average above the Mendoza line (.212) for the first time in 12 days. Even during those dreadful times, Santana's spirits stayed high. "Ervin has a pretty even heartbeat," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He doesn't get too high or too low. But inside, there's definitely a competitive mechanism he has. He wants to contribute, no doubt. He's getting a chance to." It's about time. Say this for Santana: He never blamed anyone for his tough luck. He just kept throwing and waiting for things to turn around. "It's tough," he said. "But at the same time, you see that your teammates are doing everything to try and score runs. At this point, we got runs today and I was very happy for the team and for me, too."

New Angels hitting coach Jim Eppard debuts

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When it was announced late last night that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter had taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team, it wasn’t immediately obvious why there’d be any type of college football twist to the story. Only there is, and it’s under the most unfortunate circumstances. That’s because according to a Texas TV station, Hunter took the leave...

Torii Hunter leaves Angels after son is arrested for sexual assault

Torii Hunter was placed on the Angels’ restricted list on Monday after it was announced that Hunter’s son had been arrested for sexual assault. 17-year-old Darius McClinton-Hunter was reportedly arrested, along with five other suspects, after a month long investigation into a sexual assault of a child. Hunter left the team on Monday and when Hunter will return is anyone’s guess...

Halo Headlines: Hunter leaves team following son's arrest, Angels still have time to get back on track, Looking for problems in Pujols' swing

The May 15th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels ...

Angels’ Hunter takes leave as son is charged in sexual assault

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Turning Halos around won't be easy for Eppard

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By Brian Waller, Columnist No matter which team you follow, there are just some players that you respect. Kevin Millar has always been one of those players. Millar can easily be defined as a team player, a guy his teammates rally around and someone who plays the game of baseball the right way. recently had an opportunity to interview Millar about a number...

If they become sellers... Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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Angels 7, White Sox 2

Albert Pujols welcomed his new hitting coach to town with a go-ahead three-run homer and Vernon Wells added a two-run shot to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. Jim Eppard was with the Angels for the first time as hitting coach after replacing Mickey Hatcher, who was unceremoniously dumped Tuesday night by new general manager...

Does Jerry Dipoto run the team by crowdsourcing?

When Jerry Dipoto was hired as Angels GM a few months ago, he was considered an excellent candidate because he was a former player, but also a progressive thinker who was up to speed with modern statistical analysis.  In his brief tenure, his resume of transactions and decisions suggests that he may not be relying on knowledge from his playing days or highly detailed statistical...

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In the first Angels game post-Mickey Hatcher, the Angels offense had a good night against a pretty good pitcher in Gavin Floyd. The Angels cranked out 12 hits and seven runs in their 7-2 win over the White Sox. Albert Pujols had a three run homer to push his slugging percentage over .300. Mark Trumbo started in right field with Torii Huner out, and went 3/4. Even the awful Vernon...
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