CHICAGO – The Cleveland Indians certainly have worn down the White Sox this season. Chicago starter Hector Santiago says the latest loss, however, has nothing to do with being worn out.
The White Sox fell for the 10th straight time to Cleveland, beaten 3-1 Friday when Santiago was chased early in the fifth inning.
Santiago (4-9) exited with none out and two one and his pitch count approaching 100. The bullpen allowed both inherited runners to score, so his stat line — four-plus innings, six hits and three runs — was far from impressive.
Manager Robin Ventura was most concerned with Santiago's three walks and the deep-ball counts that led him to throw 94 pitches and get just 12 outs.
"He's probably a little tired," Ventura said. "I would imagine that's part of it. I think as far as being able to locate and getting into too much trouble. We've seen it during the course of the year, but I think it's been increased with the workload and where he's at. He could just be tired."
After those comments were relayed, a feisty Santiago dismissed the theory.
"I don't think it had anything to do with tiredness," he said. "The velocity's still there. They battled. I feel like I made good pitches. (Nick) Swisher in that first inning, he laid off a couple of close pitches, and even stuff that was in the zone, he fouled off something he couldn't handle and it led to a walk."
Part of the reason Santiago doesn't want to buy into the fatigue angle is he wants to make his final pair of starts.
"I have two more starts and, hopefully, I can finish off better than the last four games and solidify that role and start the year in the rotation," he said.
Indians starter Danny Salazar struck out nine in 3 2-3 innings and Ryan Raburn hit an RBI double.
Salazar's pitch count was limited to 85. After allowing Dayan Viciedo's single with two outs on his 78th pitch, he was replaced by Nick Hagadone with runners on first and third.
The win kept Cleveland in the race for the second AL wild-card spot.
Bryan Shaw (4-3) threw two scoreless innings for the win.
Hagadone, the first of seven relievers, got pinch-hitter Josh Phegley to ground out and end the fourth.
The relief effort culminated with Chris Perez earning his 24th save in 28 chances, getting Paul Konerko to fly to deep center with runners on first and second to end the game.
Notes: White Sox LHP John Danks gave up seven runs (six earned) in four innings Thursday night to fall to 4-13. Since he's coming off shoulder surgery, Ventura was asked if there's been talk of shutting down Danks now after 131 innings. "Watching him. nothing looks physically wrong with him," Ventura said, "so right now I'd just rather have him pitch." ... Saturday's pitching matchup is Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 3.62) against Chicago's Andre Rienzo (2-1, 4.50).