What to do with Santana?

Ervin Santana is likely headed back to the minors

Ervin Santana has been given a lead on his leash but is in danger of being tethered after getting knocked around on Tuesday.

In an awful season filled with disappointment, Angels right-hander Ervin Santana might have hit rock bottom Tuesday night in Seattle.

Santana retired just one of the seven batters he faced, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks to put the Angels in 5-0 hole against the Mariners. The Angels came back from that deficit to win, but Santana might not come back from that start.

Dustin Moseley's 5.1 innings of emergency relief Tuesday was the longest outing by an Angels reliever this season. And it was the key to the comeback against the Mariners, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"We needed zeros. The only chance we have is to put up zeros, and Dustin did it," Scioscia said.

Manager Mike Scioscia was non-committal when asked whether Santana (5-12) would remain in the rotation after his latest flop.

"We're going to evaluate some things," Scioscia said. "We've tried a lot of different things with Ervin (including demoting him to Class AAA in midseason). At times, he's been electric. And at times, he's stubbed his toe like he did tonight. We'll look at some things moving forward."

An off day Thursday will give the Angels an opportunity to juggle their rotation. Scioscia has repeatedly said he likes to use those breaks in the schedule to give his starters an extra day between outings -- a rejuvenating luxury he might not be able to afford.

Look for the Angels to start Joe Saunders, Kelvim Escobar and John Lackey against the Texas Rangers this week, then bring Wednesday's starter, Jered Weaver, back on his usual four days' rest Monday against the Oakland A's in Anaheim. That would put right-hander Bartolo Colon in line to return to the rotation Tuesday against the A's.

Colon is scheduled to make the second start on his injury-rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday. He has been on the disabled list since July 24 with elbow irritation.

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