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Santana to spend ALDS in Angels' bullpen

Santana to spend ALDS in 'pen

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ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, somewhat by default, unveiled his starting rotation for the American League Division Series by announcing that right-hander Ervin Santana will be in the bullpen during their first-round matchup with the Red Sox.

Scioscia wouldn't announce the order of the starters, but it appears to be right-handers John Lackey and Jered Weaver here followed by left-handers Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders in Boston, based on the order of their starts to close the season. Game 5 of the best-of-five series would be back at Angel Stadium.

But Scioscia said he's waiting to see how his pitchers come out of their starts, with Lackey going Thursday against the Rangers before Weaver, Kazmir and Saunders go this weekend against the A's.

"We're not committing to anything," Scioscia said. "We're going to get these guys ready. We can still tinker with it."

Scioscia is expected to start his left-handers at Fenway Park because of their past success in Boston. Kazmir is 6-4 with a 3.05 ERA at Fenway in 13 career starts, while Saunders is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in four career starts there.

"If you look at how those guys have fared, they've pitched really well there," Scioscia said. "So that could be an option."

Meanwhile, Santana will pitch out of the bullpen in one game this weekend against the A's on either Saturday or Sunday.

Santana's role in the bullpen is yet to be defined, as Scioscia said he's still comfortable with the back end of his bullpen. Darren Oliver, Jason Bulger, Kevin Jepsen and Brian Fuentes expected to retain their regular-season roles.

"There are a number of roles for Ervin," Scioscia said. "He could pitch in some of the middle to possibly later innings. He also could have a big opportunity to pitch in extra innings to start fresh. And he could also come in early, too, in like in the third if we're in trouble."

The other benefit is that Santana has some experience as a reliever in the postseason, as he served in that capacity in both 2005 and '07.

In '05, he came in the game in the second inning against the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALDS after Bartolo Colon lasted just one inning and picked up the series-clinching win in the process. And in '07, he threw two scoreless innings in Game 1 against the Red Sox.

"He obviously adds an incredible piece to our bullpen," Scioscia said. "Ervin has done it before, and I think right now those four guys are all pitching very well, so Ervin will be called on to provide a lot of depth in our bullpen."

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

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