Hector Santiago woke up in the wee hours of Tuesday morning with a 102.7-degree temperature and a swollen face.
Less than 24 hours removed from a root canal, the White Sox pitcher wasn’t sure he would make his start against the Detroit Tigers. Even though he spent 20 hours in bed over the last full day and his face remained swollen because of an infection, Santiago pitched anyway.
He didn’t pitch half bad, either.
Santiago allowed two runs (one earned) over five innings. He was in line for a victory in a game the White Sox won 4-3 in 11 innings but earned a no-decision.
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“I was like man, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to go,” Santiago said. “I jumped in the cold shower like four or five times throughout the morning and took the antibiotics and kept getting in the cold tub. Got it down a little bit. Felt a little better. My head was rocking the whole way.”
Santiago initially went to the dentist on Monday with a swollen face. He said his dentist recommended the root canal because he would have required one within a month. But the dentist didn’t expect the swelling to continue.
Santiago came to the park for a short time on Monday before he was sent home. He wasn’t sure until close to game time he could Tuesday and said he felt pain throughout his 102-pitch effort.
“Every time I threw a pitch, I was kind of grimacing a little bit,” Santiago said. “It was shooting pain. That wasn’t the problem. It was more of being weak in the legs. I was in bed for 20 straight hours yesterday. I came to the field at 2 and went home. I was in bed from 3 to 4 today. I didn’t get out of bed at all.”
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He allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits with four walks over five innings. Santiago struck out three and would have earned a victory had Detroit not scored an unearned run in the eighth inning, the result of one of three Alexei Ramirez errors.