Santana tries to halt road skid

Santana tries to put brakes on road skid

For his confrontation with Boston's Josh Beckett on Sunday at Fenway Park, right-hander Ervin Santana plans to take a new route to the mound -- via the bullpen, rather than the dugout.

Hoping to change his luck on the road, where his record has suffered in contrast with his superlative performances at Angel Stadium, Santana is altering his routine. Instead of returning to the dugout after taking his pregame warmups, he'll stay in the bullpen and make his entrance from right-center after the Angels bat against Beckett.

"I'm going to give it a try," said Santana, who gave up six earned runs in four innings in losing his only career start at Fenway in 2005. "I do the same thing on the road as at home -- stretch the same time, warm up the same time. I don't know what's going on."

He has no trouble, he added, adjusting to different mounds.

Santana's career road mark is 9-12 with a 6.65 ERA in 26 starts. At home, he's 20-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 outings.

Santana struggled with his command early against the Indians on Tuesday night in Milwaukee and never found his rhythm, lasting only 4 1/3 innings and giving up six earned runs on seven hits and four walks.

In Boston's home opener, Beckett took another step toward proving that he can break out in the American League in 2007. Beckett was masterful in seven innings against Seattle, allowing just two hits and one earned run and striking out eight. He threw 61 of his 84 pitches for strikes and didn't walk a hitter.

In two career starts against the Angels, Beckett is 1-0 with four earned runs allowed in 12 innings.

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP Ervin Santana (1-1, 6.35 ERA)
Santana is 1-1 in two career starts against the Red Sox, with a 6.17 ERA.

BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (2-0, 1.50 ERA)
Beckett, who is 8-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 18 career starts at Fenway Park, has held Vladimir Guerrero to a .200 average in 20 at-bats with one homer and two RBIs, striking him out seven times and walking him four times.

Player to watch
Angels designated hitter Shea Hillenbrand, an All-Star third baseman for the Red Sox in 2002, is hoping to get rolling against his former team after a slow start caused in large part by a strained groin muscle, an injury sustained in the season's second game. He's a .214 hitter against Beckett, with a double and two RBIs in 14 career at-bats.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• KCOP Ch. 13

On radio
• 710 ESPN, AM 830 (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Angels (Jered Weaver, 11-2, 2.56 in 2006) at Boston (Julian Tavarez, 0-1, 9.00), 7:05 a.m. PT
• Tuesday: Angels (Joe Saunders, 1-0, 2.92) at Oakland (Chad Gaudin, 0-0, 2.53), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Angels (John Lackey, 2-1, 2.04) at Oakland (Dan Haren, 0-2, 2.00), 12:35 p.m. PT

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.