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OAK@LAA: Santiago fans eight, lets up just three hits

While Braves starter Mike Minor may be happy to be back at Turner Field, the Angels' Hector Santiago is just pleased to be back in the Majors. The two left-handers will square off against each other in Sunday's rubber game.

Santiago, in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A, threw six shutout innings on Tuesday against Oakland. He allowed three hits and walked one while striking out eight.

"Everything was just kind of working," Santiago said. "Cutter's a lot better. Fastball has some life to it. Throwing my changeup for strikes. I didn't throw very many of them, but there were more effective pitches to get back to everything else. Breaking balls for strikes early in the count, late in the count, so it was all around just a good day."

Santiago (0-6) struggled to open the season and moved to the bullpen before being demoted to the Minors. He will make a Major League start on four days' rest for the first time since May 7.

The southpaw has never faced the Braves, but he owns a 2.05 ERA in 10 Interleague appearances. Santiago has not won since Aug. 18, 2013, when he was a member of the White Sox.

Minor will look to bounce back from his shortest outing of the season, a four-inning effort at Colorado on Tuesday in which he gave up eight runs on 11 hits. In two of his three career starts at Coors Field, Minor has been tagged for eight earned runs.

"I just wasn't making quality pitches early on," Minor said. "Later on, I felt I was making better pitches and I just couldn't get out of a jam. ... I felt good, I just couldn't make any quality pitches. They have a good lineup and they made me pay."

Minor has been one of the Braves' best starters dating to the second half of the 2012 season. Since July 1, 2012, he ranks fifth among National League southpaws with a 3.09 ERA.

With his start against the Rockies, Minor saw his ERA jump from 3.07 to 4.31, but he still has quality starts in six of his eight outings this season.

Angels: Pujols finally breaks through
Since beginning the season on a tear, Albert Pujols hit a rough patch, batting just .197 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 33 games prior to Saturday.

But Pujols has turned it around in the series against the Braves. On Friday, he drove in Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout with a single to right field in the eighth inning. It was Pujols' first multi-RBI game since May 18.

Pujols followed it up on Saturday night with four RBIs, including a solo home run and a two-run single that capped a five-run 13th. It was his second time this season with consecutive multi-RBI games.

Braves: Gattis on a tear in June
Catcher Evan Gattis extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a second-inning single and added a home run in the eighth inning on Saturday.

During the streak, Gattis is hitting .411 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. He leads all Major League catchers with 15 home runs after tagging C.J. Wilson for a three-run home run in the first inning on Friday and Joe Smith for a solo shot on Saturday.

Worth noting
• Sunday's meeting is just the 12th all-time between the Angels and Braves. The Angels lead the series, 6-5.

• Ryan Doumit (3-for-6, one double, one RBI, one strikeout) and Gerald Laird (0-for-1) are the only Braves who have faced Santiago.

• Angels catcher Chris Iannetta leads all MLB backstops with 88 walks since the beginning of 2013.

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