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CHC@LAA: Santiago fans five over four one-hit frames

A's starter Jesse Chavez and Angels left-hander Hector Santiago are crucial to their teams' rebuilt rotations early in 2014.

And when the American League West rivals meet Monday night at 7:05 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium to start a three-game series, both will be pitching for their first wins of the season.

Chavez came very close to a victory but had a bit of hard luck in each of his two outings. In his last one, against the Twins in Minnesota, he was on cruise control for much of his seven innings, allowing one run on Jason Kubel's second-inning homer in a career-high nine-strikeout performance.

But that effort, like his season debut against Seattle, resulted in a no-decision as the game went into extra innings, and he remains winless despite a 1.38 ERA.

Meanwhile, Santiago hasn't yet put it all together, but maybe a break from having to pitch against Seattle will turn the tide for him.

Santiago lost his season debut against the Mariners in Anaheim, giving up four runs in five innings, and he took another loss to the Mariners in Seattle in his last start, when he gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings. One bright spot has been his 10 strikeouts in 9 1/3 total innings, but he's also walked eight batters.

In the last outing, Santiago could have escaped damage in the pivotal third inning, but his strikeout of Brad Miller for the third out got past Angels catcher Chris Iannetta for a wild pitch that allowed Miller to reach. Santiago walked the next batter and then gave up a crucial three-run home run to Justin Smoak.

"You get that third out and you're out of the inning," Santiago said. "But right after that you should get back to work, and I kind of didn't."

A's: Callaspo making his case
Infielder Alberto Callaspo started his sixth consecutive game for Oakland on Sunday, and more starts could be on the way with the way the veteran has been hitting.

Callaspo went hitless Sunday, but prior to that had reached base in five straight games, going 8-for-20 with two walks and two RBIs. He started Sunday's game at third base, allowing regular third baseman Josh Donaldson to get a semi-breather by starting as designated hitter.

"It's easy to give JD a DH day when you know you can run Callaspo over there," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's tough to get him out of the lineup because he is swinging the bat so well, not that I want to. We have some lefties coming up, too, so it's nice to be able to give him some consistent at-bats and ride the hot hand."

Angels: Bullpen moves made
The Angels on Sunday optioned right-handed relievers Dane De La Rosa and Matt Shoemaker to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled eft-hander Jose Alvarez and selected the contract of right-hander Yoslan Herrera from the same team.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he was concerned about De La Rosa, who struggled in his season debut Saturday after missing a good portion of Spring Training because of right forearm tightness and elbow inflammation.

"Dane didn't look very crisp," Scioscia said after the game. "Hopefully, he's on his way to getting where he needs to be, because we need him."

Worth noting
• Melvin on the Angels: "It's always a very dangerous team. You have to play well against them. Offensively, they're a force. I know they're down [outfielder Josh] Hamilton right now, but they still have a lot of guys who can hurt you, and some different starting pitching we haven't seen."

• Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is five home runs shy of becoming the 26th player in Major League history with 500 career home runs.

• The Angels have lost 13 of the past 19 to the A's at Angel Stadium. Oakland has won the past four season series, last year taking 11 of 19.

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