MILWAUKEE – The White Sox are planning to use Hector Santiago in long relief at the beginning of the season, and the left-hander sure looks ready to go.
Santiago pitched three perfect innings, and the Sox allowed only three hits in a 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
Matt Lindstrom yielded a two-run homer to Ryan Braun in the fourth, but five relievers then closed it out for the Sox. Donnie Veal, Nate Jones and Addison Reed each pitched a hitless inning.
“It feels good to be on the pitching staff with the arms we have,” Lindstrom said. “We’re busting our butts and doing what we can to put up zeroes.”
Lindstrom said Santiago throws five different pitches.
“When he’s commanding them, he can be really tough,” Lindstrom said.
Adam Dunn went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for the Sox, who finished with 12 hits. Jeff Keppinger and Paul Konerko each drove in a run.
Braun hit a one-out drive to left after Norichika Aoki reached on an error on shortstop Alexei Ramirez leading off the inning.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get that ball in far enough on Braunie tonight,” Lindstrom said. “He’s a pretty good hitter, you know.”
Jesse Crain pitched the fifth inning for the Sox in his third appearance in the past five days, strengthening his case for a spot on the Opening Day roster. If he feels good after this final test, he’s set. If not, he probably will begin the year on the 15-day disabled list.
Crain pitched in only three games this spring because of a strained right adductor.
Sox right fielder Alex Rios went 1 for 2 with two walks and scored two runs. He returned to the starting lineup after being sidelined by a sore lower back.
Bryan Anderson hit a solo homer in the ninth for the Sox,