By Connor McKnight –
CHICAGO (CBS) White Sox closer Sergio Santos locked down his 13th save of the year in the 3-2 win over the Cubs and looked like he was back to form. Santos struck out three of the four batters he faced despite not pitching in a save situation in nine days.
“I’d like to be in there as often as I can because that means we’re winning games,” Santos said after the game. “It’s tough but I just took that situation in Arizona as a save situation for myself. I said look, ‘I’m going to come in here with that same kind of mentality.'”
In the last homestand for the White Sox, Santos went 0-for-2 blowing one save and was all over the place with his command. His slider was unreliable at best as he hit a pair of batters. Tuesday night, with the exception of one hanger to Alfonso Soriano, the slider was electric.
As for the difference between last homestand and this one, Santos just couldn’t pin it down.
“Baseball, I guess,” Santos said. “It’s just the way it is. There’s nothing, really, that I can pinpoint and be like, ‘Oh, it was this,’ or, ‘Oh, it was that.’ It was just something that happened–a learning experience.”
Having Santos operating at Tuesday night’s level of efficiency helps the White Sox immeasurably. Since being moved into the closer role–in all but name–the Sox bullpen has been more than reliable. Santos’ presence as a right-handed closer lets the rest of the relievers settle into their roles.
In preparation of Jake Peavy’s start on Wednesday, the White Sox sent right-hander Lucas Harrell to AAA Charlotte. Harrell has thrown five innings and totaled a 7.20 ERA with the Sox in 2011. The move will leave the Sox with just six arms in the bullpen so as to support a six-man rotation upon Peavy’s return.
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