Santos walks fine line in season debut

Santos walks fine line in season debut

Santos walks fine line in season debut
CLEVELAND -- Sergio Santos' first appearance in the Blue Jays uniform was an eventful experience but not because of anything the club's new closer did on the mound.

Santos was called upon to pitch the 16th inning in Toronto's 7-4 victory over the Indians on Thursday evening. The only problem was that when Santos started to make his way out of the bullpen, he realized left-hander Luis Perez was already headed to the mound.

That meant Santos had to return to the bullpen because of a new rule that states if a pitcher crosses the foul line he must face at least one batter.

"He didn't quite interpret that he was done," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Perez, who threw four scoreless innings. "He is always a guy that no matter how much he pitches in a game, he always asks 'Is that it? I want to keep pitching all of the time.'

"We scored the three runs and as soon as the third out was made he was on a dead sprint to the mound, which, he's always the first guy on the field for us. That shouldn't have happened."

Santos did eventually get into the game after Perez retired the first batter of the inning. Perez's confusion, though, meant Santos did not earn a save because he did not record three outs or enter with the tying run in the on-deck circle.

The 28-year-old Santos was able to laugh off the entire experience. In the end it didn't really matter who pitched when because Toronto escaped with a victory in the longest Major League Baseball Opening Day history, but Perez might have to make it up to Santos in another way.

"I just told him he might owe me a dinner if I finish up with 39 or 29 (saves), something like that and I need one more," Santos said with a big grin. "It was a little weird but I'm glad I got in."

Santos returned on Saturday with an outing that wasn't as eventful, but also one that wasn't as effective. Santos left a fastball up in the zone that was sent out of the park by Asdrubal Cabrera and tied the game at 3 in the ninth inning.

Toronto escaped with a 7-4 victory, but Santos still suffered his first blown save in a Blue Jays uniform.