Halos look for a sweep

In matinee, Santana bids to idle Orioles

A bit of home cooking has the Angels another step further removed from a rough road trip that saw them drop five of six games to tighten the race in the American League West.

After taking the first two games from the Orioles in the three-game series, the Angels are poised for their first sweep since July 1-3, when they took a three-game series from the Royals.

Rookie Ervin Santana will start for the Angels in Thursday's matinee against Baltimore. In his last start, Santana held the Yankees to a run over 6 1/3 innings as he notched his third straight win. The right-hander has a 2.95 ERA in that span with 13 strikeouts.

The Orioles will counter with right-hander Rodrigo Lopez.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Rodrigo Lopez
• 9-6, 4.85 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 1.29 ERA vs. LAA in 2004

LAA: RHP Ervin Santana
• 6-4, 5.19 ERA in 2005
• First career appearance vs. BAL

Player to watch
Chone Figgins has a career-high-tying 13-game hitting streak on the line.

Quotable
"You don't feel good about competing unless the results are a win." -- manager Mike Scioscia

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
Gameday
Official game notes

On television
• BAL: None
• LAA: FSN West

On radio
• BAL: WBAL 1090 AM
• LAA: KSPN 710 AM; KTNQ 1020 AM (Español)

Quick hits
Garret Anderson, with 220, is two homers shy of second place on the franchise list. Brian Downing is second with 222 and Tim Salmon leads with 290. ... The Angels have the fourth best record in the Majors in the month of August over the last four seasons, trailing the A's, Cardinals and Astros. ... Adam Kennedy's .318 batting average is tops in the Major Leagues among No. 9 hitters.

On deck
• Friday: Devil Rays at Angels, 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Devil Rays at Angels, 7:05 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Devil Rays at Angels, 1:05 p.m. PT

Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.