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White Sox lefty Hector Santiago is pumped up for his second start

Updated: October 7, 2012 8:07AM

The White Sox’ starting rotation got a needed boost Wednesday from Jake Peavy to close out their series against the Twins. Who knows, maybe left-hander Hector Santiago can give them another jolt in the finale of the upcoming series with the Royals?

Santiago, who allowed one run and three hits in five innings in his first major-league start Monday against the Twins, likely will start against the Royals on Sunday, manager Robin Ventura said.

The rookie wants the ball, his arm is fresh and having a start under his belt can only be a plus.

“It’s huge,’’ Santiago said. “You know what to expect going out there starting a game. Now you just hope you get deeper into the game.’’

Ventura and Santiago agree being a closer early in the season should also help him as a starter.

“Closing is the biggest situation in the game,’’ Santiago said. “Starting has a lot to do with it because you have to keep the lead to get to that situation. You’re in the ninth inning with a lead, you’ve got more pressure than anybody on the field right there. If you can handle that, you can handle being a starter.’’

After Addison Reed became the closer, Santiago worked middle relief. He was sent to Class AAA Charlotte, where he made three starts to be stretched out as a spot starter and long reliever. When Gavin Floyd went on the disabled list, Ventura said he would mix and match the open spot with Santiago, Dylan Axelrod and Philip Humber.

Santiago is up for any role. One of the most athletic pitchers on the team, he was disappointed he didn’t get to play left field late in Tuesday’s 18-9 blowout loss after he was told to get ready as left fielder Dewayne Wise was preparing to pitch a throw-away inning. Instead, third-string catcher Hector Gimenez played left in the ninth.

“I was ready to go,’’ Santiago said. “There was even a chance I might get to hit.’’

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