Santana was demoted to Class AAA Salt Lake a month ago after going a miserable 5-11 with a 6.22 ERA with the Angels and seeming to lose confidence with each start. He went 2-1 with a 5.11 ERA in five minor-league starts, but the Angels' day-night doubleheader in Boston Friday created a need for another starter.
Santana out-pitched Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett in the second game of the doubleheader. He retired the first 13 batters he faced, took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and didn't allow a run until reliever Justin Speier let an inherited runner score.
Afterwards, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that Santana would be "folded" into the rotation next week, probably starting again either Wednesday against the Yankees or Thursday against the Blue Jays.
"Ervin throwing the ball the way we saw tonight is going to be very big for us," Scioscia said. "He earned it."
Scioscia said Dustin Moseley would make his scheduled start on Monday against the Yankees. But Moseley will probably head to the bullpen soon to make room for Santana in the rotation.
Reggie Willits might have had the most important at-bat of Friday's ninth-inning rally -- and didn't reach base. Willits extended Red Sox RHP Eric Gagne for 13 pitches before flying out.
The next four batters reached base against Gagne and the Angels scored three times to win.
"I looked up there (at the scoreboard) and thought that was a misprint when he was in his 11th or 12th pitch," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It certainly set the table. Our guys saw a lot of pitches. He (Gagne) had to throw a lot of pitches and we got some incredibly clutch hits."