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Santiago rejoins White Sox rotation to face left-leaning Indians

The SportsXchange

Left-hander Francisco Liriano deserved better in the Chicago White Sox's 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday afternoon.

A fourth-inning feed from second baseman Gordon Beckham to shortstop Alexei Ramirez should have been better, which could have led to an inning-ending double play.

Instead, it led to a three-run inning for Liriano and a loss for the Sox, their sixth in their last seven games. Chicago slipped into a tie for first place in the AL Central with the Detroit Tigers, who beat the Kansas City Royals 2-0 Tuesday night.

Now, Liriano could be out of the rotation for the rest of the regular season, as manager Robin Ventura officially announced Tuesday that his starting staff would be changed as the Sox gear up for the remainder of the series with Cleveland, and then welcome in the Tampa Bay Rays for a crucial four-game series for both teams.

Hector Santiago will make the Wednesday start, pushing back Jake Peavy to Thursday -- the opening game of the Rays series.

Santiago is a lefty, and the Tribe has a 15-35 record against southpaws this season, so it does make sense from a matchup standpoint. It also gives Chris Sale an extra day of rest from the original plan, with Sale now starting Saturday against Tampa Bay. The Sox were thinking about throwing Sale on short rest after an 118-pitch outing in Monday's no-decision against Cleveland, but now he will work on regular rest.

The good news about Sale going Saturday is he will still stay on schedule to start Game No. 163 if needed or the first game of the postseason if the Sox can shake Detroit.

The hope as far as Ventura was concerned was this doesn't backfire. Peavy is only 3-6 with a 3.71 ERA on five days' rest this season, and Santiago, who hasn't started since Sept. 9, gets thrown into a key game.

"You watch other guys get them out," Santiago said of the matchup with Cleveland. "You learn from them. I'm (glad) they consider me for that. I feel like I have a tougher time (against left-handed hitters) because of my slider, but I don't go out there and think about that."

As far as Liriano, he likely will return to the bullpen for the time being, maybe getting a sniff next week against Cleveland in the final series of the regular season.
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