Santos entered the game in the ninth with runners on second and third and one out, and he finished the game by striking out Kevin Youkilis and getting David Ortiz to ground out to short to secure the win.
After blowing his first two save opportunities of the season -- and being booed by a packed house at Rogers Centre for Toronto's home opener -- this outing was a relief for Santos.
"It's nice to finally have my first good outing in front of these fans," Santos said. "I know they're passionate. ... They're passionate about their sports and that's good, that's all you ask for."
John Farrell believed Santos' struggles may have been the result of overthrowing his fastball, but the skipper saw something different in his hard-throwing right-hander Wednesday that allowed him to work his way out of the high-leverage situation.
"He threw his slider almost exclusively to Youkilis to get the strikeout, and it's a pitch that he doesn't necessarily overthrow at times," Farrell said. "His fastball, he can get amped up, and that's where we've seen some elevated fastballs. But the slider just allows his fingers to stay on top of the ball and he gets down in the strike zone. That was the difference today."
Santos believes his ability to locate the slider is essential moving forward, as the pitch is a strong complement to his mid-to-upper-90s fastball.
Farrell knows the kind of stuff his closer has, and knew it was only a matter of time before Toronto's big offseason acquisition made a positive impact.
"For a closer, you got to have short-term memory," Farrell said. "The first two appearances for him didn't go as planned. ... We have confidence in him."
It was a nice send-off for Santos, who will temporarily be away from the team until Saturday, as his wife is expected to give birth to the couple's third child Thursday.