Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Santana Fills Late-Inning Role

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Santana Fills Late-Inning Role

Article excerpt

Last season, Stan Kyles told Edgar Santana what he didn't want to hear. Santana earned a promotion to the major leagues in June after a strong first two months of the season, then found himself back with Class AAA Indianapolis after allowing six runs, 10 hits and five walks in 7? innings with the Pirates.

"'You're not ready,'" Kyles, the Indianapolis pitching coach, told Santana. "'Your mind is not ready.' Back when I had bad games, I would kind of get frustrated and the next game I'd do bad again because I was thinking about day."

Santana, a 26-year-old right-hander, learned to move past bad outings so they did not affect future games.

This season, in his first full year in the major leagues, he leads the Pirates in appearances with 68 and has a 2.71 ERA in 66? innings.

"I feel good," Santana said. "I appreciate the opportunity that they gave me to be in that kind of situation, to pitch a lot."

Santana began the season pitching the middle innings and moved into the seventh-inning role in mid-May, though manager Clint Hurdle has used him in different spots. This month, after the Pirates shut down Keone Kela, Santana has pitched in the eighth inning four times.

"I like to pitch in tough situations when the game is important," Santana said.

The life of a reliever requires the ability to move on quickly. Santana realized that baseball offers second chances.

"When I have those kind of bad games, next time they give me the ball and I do the job, I say, that's the thing that I have to do," he said. "I prepare my mentality like that. So now I don't care if I give up a couple runs in the game because I know the game is going to give me another opportunity."

This year, Santana minimized the performances that he'd want to forget about. He posted a 1.04 WHIP and 7.9 hits per nine innings and walked 11 batters in 66? …

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