Pitching in front of friends and family gives Santiago a boost

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Pitching in front of friends and family gives Santiago a boost

NEW YORK -- Hector Santiago had a big smile on his face on Friday afternoon as he recalled his Yankee Stadium debut from the night before. He admits its likely not going to leave any time soon.

The White Sox rookie hails from nearby Newark, N.J. and enjoyed the fact he pitched in front of family and friends Thursday night. Even though he gave up a run on a Mark Teixeira homer, Santiago, who struck out two batters, earned the victory because of Dayan Viciedos heroics.

He said the level of his adrenaline rush is as high as some of his previous major league milestones.

That was probably the highest Ive been either since I got called up last year for my major league debut or my save in Texas, Santiago said. I havent had that kind of energy or stuff behind me for a while now. Ill probably have it for the next couple of weeks just knowing what its like to have it again and that adrenaline and that feeling of your friends and everybody behind you pushing you and cheering for you. That felt great.

So what was the highlight of pitching in the esteemed Bronx venue?

Striking out Robinson Cano, of course. Santiago, who actually grew up more of a New York Mets fans, said he is very close with members of Canos family.

Me and his cousins were best friends, Santiago said. I grew up with his family. He was raised in Newark for a little while. I have known him for the past seven years. It was big. I talked to him before the game and we wished each other good luck. It was great. Now I have something to talk about and I can throw it in my friends face, I got your cousin out.

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