CHICAGO – The White Sox have come so far in a month that a loss pinned on a reliever isn’t a cause for concern.
The runs snapped Santos’ 8 2/3-inning scoreless inning streak.
“I just didn’t feel it, didn’t have it,” Santos said. “No excuses. I should have been ready. I should have been in there throwing strikes. But it wasn’t the case today.”
After a bloop single landed in front of left fielder Juan Pierre to start the 10th inning, Santos walked a batter and then gave up a two-run double just inside the third-base bag to Miguel Olivo. He had just battled through a relatively shaky ninth inning, getting the final out with two runners on base.
“It took 20 pitches [in the ninth inning] and you know, I was happy to get through unscathed with no runs coming across,” Santos said. “So when they told me I was going back out there for a second, I was a little surprised. I knew I was going in so I tried to get my mind set and hoped that after getting loose, I could get a feeling and start doing it.”
It didn’t happen and he was trying to survive with a changeup as his only effective pitch.
“He told me he had another inning under him,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I have to give my best bullet, the team the best chance, the best guy out of the bullpen at that particular time, to give us our best shot. He did a pretty good job.”
It ended up being one that got away and prevented the White Sox from gaining yet another game on the first place Indians (they are six back heading into play Thursday). Yet this wasn’t one they were kicking themselves about when it ended.
“We play very good baseball this series,” Guillen said. “I think the guys went after it and busted their tail very well. Every pitcher out there was good, even Santos lost the game but I think he went there with a lot of courage and gave his best stuff and give us an opportunity to win in the ninth.”