Santos earning more late-inning situations

Santos earning more late-inning situations

CHICAGO -- For the first time in Sergio Santos' pitching career, covering basically just one year since converting over from the infield, the right-hander worked in back-to-back games.

He pitched one scoreless inning during Thursday's loss to Cleveland and worked two-thirds of an inning during Friday's 11-inning setback to the Twins. As a result of those two scoreless efforts, Santos might have put himself into the late-inning relief picture.

Santos entered Friday's contest to face Delmon Young with the bases loaded and two outs, trying to keep Minnesota's lead at one run. He started against Young with a slider and finished Young off with a slider, producing a swinging strike three to get out of the jam.

"This kid has no fear," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Santos.

"I'm a 100 percent kind of pitcher, so with my fastball, I throw it 100 percent," Santos said. "With my sliders and changeup, I try to throw them 100 percent. And what I've just kind of learned is taking a little bit off and kind of trusting what the ball's going to do as opposed to trying to manipulate and trying to make my slider cut or slurve or whatever you want to call it, make my changeup drop or move. So I just figured I'm going to let the grip kind of take over and hopefully it'll work out."

After touching 95 mph on the radar gun on Thursday, Santos was up in the 96- and 97-mph range on Friday. That result was good news for Guillen, who doesn't want to overuse the right-hander, although Santos was ready to go again Saturday.

"Yesterday was my first time going back-to-back so now I'm looking forward to maybe going back-to-back-to-back," said Santos with a smile. "Once that comes, I'll try to tackle it and I'll give it whatever I have."

"If he continues to pitch like that, it's a huge help," Guillen said. "We will monitor him. I have confidence in him, but we have to be easy with him and not fall in love with him and overuse him."