ANAHEIM -- Ervin Santana's parents had yet to see their son pitch in 2012, and before they came to Saturday's game against the D-backs, times had been tough lately.
In four starts before Saturday, Santana surrendered 23 runs in 20 1/3 innings, giving up six home runs and walking 15 batters.
But against the D-backs, with his parents in attendance having come all the way from the Dominican Republic, Santana (4-7) was brilliant. The righty threw 6 2/3 perfect innings en route to a one-hit shutout, his first since May 20, 2011, and the seventh in his career.
Though his counterpart and former teammate, Joe Saunders, told him to keep his head up before the game, Santana's go-to whenever things aren't going well has always been his parents.
"Mom and Dad," Santana said following his win," nothing better than that."
Santana's parents make a trip to see him nearly every year, and they couldn't have come to a better game this season, as the 29-year-old offered up his dad an early Father's Day present in the process.
Though he was sure to mention his mother would be the one making all the delicious Latin food during his parents' visit, Santana said it was a tossup between his mom and dad as to who knows the most about pitching.
They both know enough to get upset when things aren't going well for their son, however.
"They're both good," said a smiling Santana. "If anything's wrong, they get [ticked]. So I don't want to hear it because it's very bad."