Texas Leaguers Take Center Stage

John Brayfield's Springfield Cardinals Report, Texas Leaguers Take Center Stage.

Texas Leaguers Take Center Stage

With last night's 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles
Angels of Anaheim became the last team to advance to baseball's version
of the "Final Four", joining the Chicago White Sox in the American
League Championship Series, while the Houston Astros and the St. Louis
Cardinals will face off in the National League Championship Series.

Former Texas Leaguer Ervin Santana made his first career post-season
appearance in last night's win over the Yankees.  Santana came on for
Angels starter Bartolo Colon in the top of the second inning, after
Colon was removed with an inflamed right shoulder.  After allowing the
Yankees to take a 2-0 advantage, the former Arkansas Traveler settled
down, giving up just one more run in his final 4.1 innings.  The
right-hander allowed a total of three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings,
in earning the victory and sending the Angels to the next round. 

Santana's first start of 2005 came against the Springfield Cardinals at
Ray Winder Field in Little Rock on April 9th.  On that night, Santana
threw seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over the Cards.  Santana
was later promoted from Arkansas to the Major Leagues, where he made his
big-league debut on May 17th in Cleveland against the Indians.  After
being sent down and having a brief stint at Triple-A Salt Lake, Santana
returned to the Angels and posted an overall record of 12-8 with an ERA
of 4.65 in 23 games.

St. Louis Cardinals players who've spent time on Texas League rosters
are highlighted by Jim Edmonds and John Mabry, who played for Midland
and Arkansas respectively back in the early 90's.  Other Texas Leaguers
who've spent significant time in the Texas League include Brad Lidge,
Morgan Ensberg, Willy Taveras and Roy Oswalt, who played for the Round
Rock Express, a Houston Astros affiliate until 2005.

The ALCS begins tonight in Chicago, as the Angels send Paul Byrd to the
mound against Sergio Contreras of the White Sox at 7pm Central.  The
NLCS kicks off on Wednesday from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, as Chris
Carpenter of the Cardinals battles Andy Pettitte of the Houston Astros
at 7pm Central.

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