Angels shut down Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver

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Having been eliminated from postseason contention with Monday’s loss, the Angels decided there was no need to push two of their top three starters any further.  They scratched Ervin Santana from his start Tuesday against Texas and Jered Weaver from Wednesday’s finale.

Tyler Chatwood and Garrett Richards are now scheduled to work the next two days.

It’s good news for the Rangers, who are one game up on the Tigers as they aim for home-field advantage in the ALDS.

Santana and Weaver had both already amassed career-high innings totals this year.  Santana was at 228 2/3, while Weaver was at 235 2/3 innings.

Santana finishes 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA.  While he’s had seasons of 17, 16 and 16 wins in the past, this year’s ERA was the lowest of his career.  2008 still ranks as his best season as a major leaguer, but his 2011 wasn’t too far behind.

Weaver, a Cy Young contender for the first four motnhs of the season, ends the year 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.  The wins, ERA and WHIP are all career bests for him, though he didn’t come close to matching his strikeout total from a year ago (198, down from 233).

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.