SEATTLE (AP) -
's next start could be this weekend. It might be in the first round of the playoffs.
Whenever it is, the
Los Angeles Angels
right-hander should be brimming with confidence after Monday night.
combined for a five-hitter,
homered and the Angels beat the skidding
2-1 to set a franchise record for road wins.
Seattle has lost 12 straight games and is two away from tying the franchise record set in 1992.
''This (Santana) is probably the best we've seen from anybody all year in terms of velocity and off-speed stuff,'' Mariners
manager Jim Riggleman said. ''You put your measuring stick right there - that's as good as it gets right there.''
Santana (16-6) allowed one run and five hits to match his career high for victories. He struck out nine, walked none and improved
to 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA against Seattle this season.
Rodriguez got three outs to extend his major league record for saves to 61 and earn his 10th against the Mariners this year.
Los Angeles, which clinched the AL West title on Sept. 10, is still trying to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Angels (97-59) hold the edge over Tampa Bay (93-62), which beat Baltimore 4-2 on Monday night.
said Santana probably will start Saturday if it remains tight into the weekend.
''We'll see where we are,'' Scioscia said. ''These games still have meaning. There's some challenges to the regular season
that we want to accomplish. We'll have decisions to make.''
The Angels also earned their 48th road win, giving them one more than the previous mark set in 2004. Their 97 victories overall
are two short of the club record set by the 2002 team that won the World Series.
The Angels went in front 2-1 in the seventh, taking advantage of an error by left fielder
reached on a one-out single and Willits followed with a drive into left-center that bounced off Ibanez's glove.
Mathis went to third on Willits' single and scored on Ibanez's miscue.
Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the third, and only came away with one run. Santana struck out
before Ibanez's hard grounder to first gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Santana then fanned
to end the inning.
''I don't think too much about bases loaded,'' Santana said. ''I take it normal in my mind and say like, 'Nobody's on base'
and try to hit my spots.''
Scioscia said getting out of that jam allowing only one run was the key.
''He was in command the rest of the way,'' Scioscia said. ''He had a real live fastball, terrific breaking ball and changed
speed very well. That was a great game from Ervin.''
Guerrero went deep against Ryan Rowland-Smith (4-3) in the fourth, hitting his 25th of the season and career homer No. 390
to move into a tie with
for 49th on the list.
Guerrero, batting .302 on the year, and
are the only two active players with 11 straight seasons with at least 25 home runs. If he remains at .300, he'll join
as the only two players in history to have 25 home runs and hit at least .300 for 11 straight seasons.
''That says it all. When you're mentioned at all with
in any way, shape or form it puts it into context the type of player you are,'' Scioscia said. ''This guy is as good as any
hitter who has ever been in the batter's box playing the game of baseball. He's been fun to watch.''
It was Guerrero's 24th career home run against Seattle.
''It was just a changeup, left it up,'' Rowland-Smith said. ''I was trying to bounce it up there. Every time I throw to him
I try to throw it way in or bounce it.''
Rowland-Smith (4-3) allowed two runs, one earned, and eight hits in seven innings.
Notes: Angels 2B
came off the disabled list (strained left hamstring) and played for the first time since Aug. 27. He went just three innings
before leaving. Scioscia said he'll rest him Tuesday, then play him five innings Wednesday. ... Guerrero played in his third
straight game after missing six games with a sore right knee. Scioscia said he's ''markedly improved'' from a week ago but
added that surgery ''is something that Vlade is going to have to consider during the offseason. ... It doesn't mean it's a
slam dunk it has to be done. It's up to the player.'' ... Mariners RHP
, who has had back issues, is expected to make his start Wednesday. ''I'm going on the assumption that he's going to pitch,''
Riggleman said. ... Riggleman met with all his players on the field just before batting practice to stress that despite a
tough season it's important to stay focused during this final week. ... Seattle OF
singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. ... Santana also won 16 games in 2006.