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The odds were in Jon Garland's favor Monday night, only to have his fortunes turned on him by a rookie with the same hype Garland had earlier in his career.
Ervin Santana, making his second major-league start, held the White Sox to five hits in handing Garland his first loss of the season as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim posted a 4-0 victory at Angels Stadium.
The Angels, without American League Most Valuable Player Vladimir Guerrero (shoulder) and closer Francisco Rodriguez (strained right forearm), were in control behind Santana, 22, whose fastball was clocked as high as 95 m.p.h. in the seventh inning. The Sox were blanked for the first time this season.
Santana, who was 5-1 at Double-A Arkansas before getting promoted last week, retired the first 10 batters before Tadahito Iguchi hit a double. Santana didn't allow another batter to reach second until two out in the ninth, when Paul Konerko reached on an infield hit and advanced on a throwing error by third baseman Dallas McPherson.
"When we struggle, we struggle as a group," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Garland (8-1) was tagged for a season-high 11 hits. He allowed a two-run double to Adam Kennedy with two out in the second and an RBI single to Bengie Molina in the sixth.
Garland easily could have escaped danger with more support. Center fielder Timo Perez made an accurate, one-hop throw to third base, but Joe Crede couldn't handle the throw that allowed McPherson to reach third. Kennedy followed with his double to give the Angels the lead.
"I'll take that game right there for every start," Garland said of his outing. "There are going to be days like that."
The Angels had hits in every inning off Garland and reliever Luis Vizcaino. Orlando Cabrera, who was 1 for his last 16, had three of the Angels' 13 hits.
Garland had won his last 10 starts dating to the 2004 season.
"You never forget what it's like to lose," he said. "I hate it."
The Angels scored their fourth run in the eighth on a homer by Molina off Vizcaino, who has allowed runs in 10 of his last 17 outings.
Despite the Sox's early pitching success, they've shown a tendency to upgrade at any time under general manager Ken Williams.
The latest pitcher to enter the market is closer Danny Graves, whom Cincinnati designated for assignment on Monday.
The Reds have 10 days to trade or waive Graves, 31, who has 182 career saves and saved a career-high 41 games in 2004.
"We're always looking to get better," Williams said Monday.
Graves fell out of favor in Cincinnati after making an obscene gesture to the crowd on Sunday. He's 1-1 with 10 saves and a 7.76 ERA.Cincinnati GM Dan O'Brien is staying at an Anaheim hotel, but his main purpose is scouting several Southern California college players in preparation for the June amateur draft.