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Notes: Santana taking forward steps

Notes: Santana taking forward steps

ANAHEIM -- Ervin Santana's start against Oakland on Monday was a step forward, not only for his confidence, but for his reputation around the American League.

"I thought he looked pretty good," one AL scout said. "The ball came out of his hand well, his fastball had a lot of life and he had enough secondary stuff to take it deeper into a game. He needs to have better fastball command, but if you hadn't seen him in a long time, then you'd have a hard time picking up that this guy has been struggling."

Santana pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four and walking five. There has been speculation around the league that Santana could be effective in a relief role, but the Angels would prefer that he continue to develop as a starter.

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"It was definitely a positive step forward," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was good for him to get out there and pitch well and help the club."

Anderson ties club record: Garret Anderson is healthy, and his production continues to prove it. His first-inning RBI single Wednesday afternoon against Oakland starter Joe Blanton gave him an RBI in each of his last 10 games.

Wally Joyner did it as a rookie in 1986. Fred Lynn did it in 1984. Anderson has 53 RBIs since the All-Star break, the most in the Major Leagues.

Guerrero named Angels' Clemente Award nominee: Vladimir Guerrero's arm has often been compared to the late Roberto Clemente. Now, Guerrero can rightfully claim another comparison with the great right fielder.

Guerrero is the Angels' 2007 nominee for the Robero Clemente Award, the award given annually to the player who combines outstanding field performance with community service.

The Angels nominated Guerrero for his community service that he started in Southern California when he signed with the team in 2004. Through his "Vlad's Pad" program, the right fielder donates 127 tickets to each home game. The tickets are distributed to charities in the Southern California area, with a focus on children. Through Vlad's Pad, some 10,000 children attend games courtesy of Guerrero at Angel Stadium.

Guerrero also has been active with the local charitable group "Padres Contra El Cancer," donating game tickets for children and families affected by cancer.

He has also been supportive of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Orange Country and can often be seen taking a few moments to chat with terminally ill children after batting practice. In 2005, Guerrero also donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief.

Guerrero also runs a family business in the Dominican Republic, Los Hermanos Guerrero, which provides several basic services for families and provides local job opportunities.

Highs and lows: Reserve catcher Ryan Budde got a rare start, his fifth in the Major Leagues. ... Casey Kotchman, who has been starting against right-handed pitchers again, is 4-for-his-last 30.

Up next: The Angels begin a four-game series Thursday with Cleveland in what is a potential playoff preview. Kelvim Escobar (15-7, 2.99), who already has set a career high in victories, will oppose right-hander and former Angels righty Paul Byrd (14-5, 4.19).

John Klima is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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