(SportsNetwork.com) - Hector Santiago tries to stay hot on Thursday when the American League West-leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim open a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Santiago hasn't gone past the sixth inning since April, but has pitched to a 1.19 ERA over his last four starts. Santiago won his last start back on Aug. 27 when he held the Miami Marlins to a run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings to run his record to 4-7, while lowering his ERA to 3.28.
After beginning the season 0-7, he has not lost since June 15.
"Every time I went out, I put more and more pressure on myself," Santiago said. "I just kept putting added pressure on myself, like I have to prove myself here. I'm the new guy, I have to earn my spot."
After sweeping a four-game set from the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles was swept itself in a two-game affair by the woeful Houston Astros, dropping a 4-1 decision in Wednesday's finale.
Kole Calhoun had two of the Angels' four hits. Jered Weaver (15-8) fanned six and surrendered two runs on five hits and two walks for the Halos, who had won six in a row before the visit to Houston.
Minnesota, meanwhile, split a two-game set with the Chicago White Sox and has won two of three after Wednesday's 11-4 triumph. Kennys Vargas homered and drove in three to power the Twins in that one, while Eduardo Escobar, Eduardo Nunez and Oswaldo Arcia each drove in two runs in the win.
Trevor May (1-4) picked up his first major-league win after going five innings and allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts.
"A good night all the way around for us," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We got our starting pitcher a win. At the end, they couldn't stop us."
Heading to the hill for Minnesota on Thursday will be righty Kyle Gibson, who is 11-10 with a 4.23 ERA. Gibson did not get a decision on Saturday in Baltimore, but pitched well, allowing just a run and four hits in five innings. However, he did walk three batters in the 3-2 setback.
Gibson had allowed five runs in three of his previous four starts.
"When I don't have my best stuff, I can go out there and get outs, and I think that was important," Gibson said. "They made me work hard, but I didn't give in. I was able to limit the damage."
The Angels swept a three-game set from the Twins earlier in the season.