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The crowd of 21,546, many on extended lunch hours for the noontime start, cheered loudly when Lonnie Chisenhall walked with one out in the eighth. Otherwise, the fans nervously sat in expectation of watching history.
Santana quickly took care of business in the bottom of the ninth. He got pinch-hitter Travis Buck to look at strike three, retired the speedy Ezequiel Carrera on a routine grounder and ended it by inducing Michael Brantley to lift an easy fly ball to center fielder Peter Bourjos.
"He was on, we weren't," Brantley said. "It's disappointing we didn't win the game. We'll just say congratulations to him and move on."
The Angels rushed from the dugout to mob Santana behind the mound. Along with a game for the record books, it was an important win for Los Angeles as it chases Texas in the AL West.
The win was only his third in 11 starts since May 30. He lost four in a row, June 4-21, but is 3-0 in six starts since. Last Friday, he gave up one run and three hits over 7 2-3 innings in a 6-1 win over the Orioles.
Angels catcher Bobby Wilson said Santana "attacked every hitter."
"He didn't take a pitch off. It's the most fun I've ever had on the baseball field, I'll tell you that much," he said.
"He shook me off a couple times and that's OK. I want a pitcher to have confidence in what he's going to throw rather than flip something up there that he doesn't believe in."
Against the Indians, Santana looked a lot more like the pitcher who went 17-10 last season.
"He was good, really good," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We've see guys throw harder, with good breaking balls, too. A lot of times in no-hitters, you have to have good stuff. That doesn't mean necessarily best stuff. He was terrific today."
Santana got off to an ominous start as Carrera reached when his grounder glanced off the heel of shortstop Erick Aybar's glove. Carrera stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Chisenhall's walk was the lone blemish in the eighth as Santana struck out three in the inning when he struck out the side.
Neither team got a hit until Vernon Wells led off the Angels fourth with a bloop single. Los Angeles tied it at 1 in the fifth when Bourjos tripled off the wall in left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Trout.
The Angels went ahead in the sixth on an odd passed ball by catcher Carlos Santana.
Torii Hunter doubled and went to third on a one-out single by Kendrick. After Mark Trumbo struck out, right-hander Joe Smith relieved David Huff (1-1) and Kendrick took off for second on a 1-1 pitch. Santana came out of his crouch to get the pitch, which was called a strike by umpire Ted Barrett, but the ball popped out of his glove and rolled down the first-base line. The young catcher scrambled after it and threw to Smith covering the plate, but Hunter slid in ahead of the tag to score the unearned run.
NOTES: Huff is 0-3 in his career against the Angels. ... Bourjos' triple snapped an 0-for-11 slump since he came off the disabled list. ... RHP Justin Germano, who opened the season in the Indians' bullpen, threw a perfect game Tuesday night for Triple-A Columbus. It was his first win since being sent outright to the Clippers. He struck out seven. ... The last no-hitter against the Indians in Cleveland was Toronto's Dave Stieb on Sept. 2, 1990. This was the 12th no-hitter overall against the Indians. ... The last non-shutout no-hitter in the majors was by Houston's Darryl Kile against the New York Mets on Sept. 8, 1993. ... The Angels do not officially get credit for holding the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless for eight innings in a 1-0 loss at Dodger Stadium on June 28, 2008. Jered Weaver went six innings and Jose Arredondo went two innings. ... This was Santana's 11th career complete game, including two this season.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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