Santiago breezes through start vs. Cubs
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels starter Hector Santiago breezed through his required four innings -- working so efficiently that he had to throw an additional 15 pitches in the bullpen to get enough work in -- and second baseman Howie Kendrick had the only multihit game in a 3-2 loss to the Cubs at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday.
Santiago gave up only one hit, walked none and struck out five in his 42-pitch outing. The opposing lineup was made up mostly of Cubs Minor Leaguers, with most of the starters hosting the Indians in Mesa, but it was nonetheless a positive sign for the 26-year-old left-hander, who has always had a high walk rate.
"Obviously, I'm going to be facing better hitters [during the regular season], but they're still professional players and they're in there swinging the bat," Santiago said. "I didn't even think about who I'm facing. I don't know who's in there, and I never do. I block everybody out and just try to attack the zone. If I make my pitches, I feel like no matter who it is, I'm going to get them out."
James McDonald, who's competing for the fifth spot in the Cubs' rotation and coming back from shoulder problems last season, shut out a pretty loaded Angels lineup in his spring debut, giving up only a David Freese single in two innings.
The Angels got on the board off Dallas Beeler in the fourth. Kole Calhoun led off with a single, moved to second on a single by Mike Trout, tagged up on an Albert Pujols fly ball and scored on Raul Ibanez's groundout to first base.
The Cubs tied it in the seventh, when second baseman Luis Valbuena hit a leadoff double against Matt Shoemaker and, two batters later, shortstop Chris Valaika sent him home with an RBI single.
Mike Olt, who could be a candidate at third base, started at designated hitter because he has some tenderness in his right shoulder and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Kendrick went 2-for-3 and is now batting .462 this spring.
The Angels took the lead in the eighth when power-hitting prospect C.J. Cron hit a two-out single up the middle, one day after tying the score with a ninth-inning three-run homer, but the Cubs took the lead for good in the top of the ninth.
Up next: Garrett Richards will make his second Cactus League start when the Angels host the D-backs' split squad on Saturday at 12:05 p.m. PT. Richards, the 25-year-old right-hander who secured a spot in the rotation with a 3.72 ERA in 13 starts down the stretch last season, threw three innings of two-hit ball in his spring debut. Opposing Richards will be right-hander Archie Bradley, the No. 1-ranked pitching prospect in baseball by MLB.com.