Ervin Santana showed why he may be the hottest pitcher in baseball after a third straight gem led the Los Angeles Angels past the Seattle Mariners 2-1 on Sunday.
Santana followed up his spectacular stretch, that included a no-hitter on July 27 and a complete-game win last Tuesday, by outdueling current Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez who struck out 12 batters in eight innings.
A surging Santana (8-8) had seven strikeouts of his own and nearly reached a third consecutive complete-game. However, he was relieved with one out in the ninth inning after Mike Carp blasted a home run 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) pulled within a half-game of first-place Texas in the American League West with the Rangers scheduled to play Cleveland later on Sunday.
Mark Trumbo slugged a home run in the third and the Angels added another run in the seventh to provide a 2-0 lead for Santana who has not lost a start since June 21.