CLEVELAND -- Howard Kendrick seemed surprised by his immediate reaction.
"I had goosebumps walking off the field," the Angels' second baseman said following Ervin Santana's no-hitter on Wednesday at Progressive Field in a 3-1 decision over the Indians. "That doesn't happen very often.
"It's really such a pleasure to be part of something like this, with a guy like Ervin," said Kendrick. "I've watched him for a long time, and this is the best I've ever seen him. He had it all going. I'm happy for Ervin. It hasn't been an easy year for him, but he's got great talent and he put it all together today."
Kendrick was a major contributor, ranging behind second to take a hit away from Jason Kipnis in the sixth inning as first baseman Mark Trumbo dug out Kendrick's low throw.
"It definitely feels good to make a contribution on a day like this," Kendrick said. "It's something we'll always remember -- especially Ervin and Bobby [Wilson]. You know how it is with pitchers and catchers. They're in it together."
For most of the Angels, this was their first experience with a no-hitter. They'd come close in Boston, of all places, when John Lackey took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on July 31, 2008. It was broken up by Dustin Pedroia.
Certainly co-aces Jered Weaver and Dan Haren have no-hit stuff, but it was Santana, in the throes of a disappointing season, who made it happen.
"It was fun to do the chart," said Joel Pineiro, who acknowledged that he has a "tough act to follow" when he takes the mound on Thursday in Detroit for the Angels.
"Ervin was great today," Pineiro said. "He had it all working, and he kept pounding the strike zone. We're all really happy for him."
Right fielder Torii Hunter, who handled three of the four fly balls Santana issued, in addition to doubling and scoring the go-ahead run, recalled being part of a no-hitter long ago.
|Bo Belinsky||Orioles||May 5, 1962||2-0|
|Clyde Wright||A's||July 3, 1970||4-0|
|Nolan Ryan||Royals||May 15, 1973||3-0|
|Nolan Ryan||Tigers||July 15, 1973||6-0|
|Nolan Ryan||Twins||Sept. 28, 1974||4-0|
|Nolan Ryan||Orioles||June 1, 1975||1-0|
|Mike Witt||Rangers||Sept. 30, 1984||1-0*|
|M. Langston/Witt||Mariners||Apr. 11, 1990||1-0|
|Ervin Santana||Indians||July 27, 2011||3-1|
"Eric Milton threw one against the Angels in Minnesota," Hunter said, identifying the year as 1999. "It was an 11 a.m. game, because the [Minnesota] Gophers had a game later. I played left field and caught a ball off the wall that would have been a double.
"It was toward the end of the season, and Joe Maddon was managing the Angels after Terry Collins had been fired. He rested Tim Salmon, Garret Anderson and played a lot of young guys.
"Now I'm part of another no-hitter, with the Angels."
Hunter said he was too caught up in the game, as the Halos worked to come back from an early 1-0 deficit on an unearned run, to even realize Santana had a no-hitter working until fairly late in the game.
"Ervin was dominating, that's all I knew," Hunter said. "They had a run, and we were trying to get something going. We finally did, and it's a good thing. Ervin deserved that one. He was great."
The Angels tied it in the fifth on Peter Bourjos' triple and Mike Trout's sacrifice fly -- a preview of future attractions.
Hunter doubled leading off the sixth, stopped at third on Kendrick's single and scored when Carlos Santana was unable to handle a Joe Smith pitch for a passed ball.
"We've been getting better," Hunter, the leader of the pack, said. "And today, this was as good as it gets for Ervin. Good pitching beats hitting. I always say that. Ervin proved it today."
In his playing days with the Dodgers, Angels manager Mike Scioscia handled no-hitters by Fernando Valenzuela and Kevin Gross.
"Fernando was very different from Ervin," Scioscia said. "Kevin Gross was similar. He could throw his breaking ball in different counts.
"Ervin has the ability to do what he did this afternoon. His stuff is much better than what his won-loss record shows. You're fortunate to do it once, and if you do it again, you're blessed.
"Today, it all fell in place."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.