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Santiago sparkles but falls on short rest in White Sox’ 6-2 loss

Updated: June 24, 2013 2:14PM

After throwing 80 pitches in a rough outing against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago bounced back with six strong innings in a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox and ace Clay Buchholz (7-0) on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Santiago, 25, pressed into service when Chris Sale was scratched from his scheduled start with a sore shoulder, threw 107 pitches over six innings, allowing two runs on a one-armed, opposite-field single to left in the first inning by David Ortiz. Santiago (1-3, 2.81 ERA) didn’t allow a hit after the second inning. He struck out nine and walked four.

His reward? A possible return to the bullpen, with lefty John Danks finally confirmed to start Friday against the Marlins, manager Robin Ventura announced after the game.

Lefty Donnie Veal was returned to Class AAA Charlotte to make room for Danks while adding a need for a second left-hander to go with Matt Thornton in the bullpen.

That’s where Santiago would fit in.

“I feel like I’ve only had one bad start,’’ Santiago said. “But it’s about being more efficient if you’re going to be starting. But I’ve kept us in most of the games and given us a chance to win. They have to make a decision, and I’ll be ready for anything.’’

The versatile Santiago smiled and mentioned Ventura’s “Swiss Army Knife” nickname for him.

Like Santiago, right-hander Dylan Axelrod has pitched well enough to stay in the rotation, and he’s penciled in to start Sunday.

Wait over for Danks

Danks, who hasn’t pitched in a major-league game in 10 months, had shoulder surgery in August to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in the rotator cuff and biceps.

“I’m excited. It’s been a long time, a long recovery,’’ he said Wednesday night. “You know, to get back here and feel like a part of the team, feel like a big-leaguer again. Now I got to go out there and try to win us a ballgame.’’

This and that

Starting pitching continues to be a strong suit, despite injuries to Gavin Floyd and missed starts by Sale and Jake Peavy. In the last 32 games, Sox pitchers have made 21 quality starts with a 2.86 ERA. The bullpen’s ERA is 9.98 over the last five games covering 151/3 innings.

Alex Rios extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games.

Paul Konerko (2-for-4) had three good at-bats against Buchholz and hit his first home run since April 28 in the ninth inning against Andrew Bailey.

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