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Santiago registers hold in first WBC '17 outing

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins left-hander Hector Santiago didn't get his wish to start for Team Puerto Rico against Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday night, but the lefty made his first career appearance in the tournament in relief, earning a hold in Puerto Rico's 9-4 win.

Santiago, considered a lock for Minnesota's rotation, piggybacked Brewers right-hander Jorge Lopez, tossing 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits with three strikeouts. Santiago threw 42 pitches with 29 going for strikes.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins left-hander Hector Santiago didn't get his wish to start for Team Puerto Rico against Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday night, but the lefty made his first career appearance in the tournament in relief, earning a hold in Puerto Rico's 9-4 win.

Santiago, considered a lock for Minnesota's rotation, piggybacked Brewers right-hander Jorge Lopez, tossing 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits with three strikeouts. Santiago threw 42 pitches with 29 going for strikes.

Santiago pitched well early, but ran into trouble in the seventh and was hurt by a throwing error from third baseman Carlos Correa. He allowed an RBI single to Chris Roberson before a run scored on Correa's throwing error. Santiago then threw a run-scoring wild pitch that made it a 5-4 game before Puerto Rico pulled away with four runs in the ninth.

Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in Puerto Rico's victory over Team Venezuela on Friday, went 2-for-5 with two singles and three strikeouts. First baseman Kennys Vargas has yet to appear in a game.

Twins right-hander Jose Berrios, now considered the slight favorite for the fifth spot in the rotation after Trevor May was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, started for undefeated Puerto Rico on Sunday against Team Italy.

Worth noting
• Twins manager Paul Molitor said that Rule 5 Draft pick Justin Haley will start in May's place on Monday against the Rays. Relievers Michael Tonkin and Alex Wimmers will also be stretched out to two innings on Monday.

• Twins Minor League right-hander Yohan Pino had a strong showing in Team Colombia's 4-1 win over Team Canada on Saturday, tossing three scoreless frames while allowing just one hit.

• Molitor said the first round of roster cuts is still expected to come on Monday, and it's likely that there will be more pitchers sent to Minor League camp than position players.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Hector Santiago