Santiago looking to cut down on home runs

Santiago looking to cut down on home runs

CHICAGO -- The secret to Hector Santiago's return to late-inning success might be throwing a few less strikes.

Santiago specifically is targeting a reduction in the four home runs he has allowed in 6 1/3 innings, after giving up just 11 in 132 2/3 innings last season.

"I've actually thought about going out of the zone with certain pitches instead of trying to throw everything for strikes," Santiago said. "I try to make sure I don't walk anybody.

"Sometimes you have to go out of the zone to be able to get somebody to chase something, and I don't think I've been doing that of late. Maybe I need to get someone to chase something and ground out or swing over something."

Locating the screwball certainly is not an issue in Santiago's mind. He felt as if that pitch was at its best this season during Wednesday's appearance against the A's and still doesn't regret the changeup thrown to Yoenis Cespedes that led to the game-tying homer.

"I've actually figured out how to throw it at a lower velocity where I had it last year and throw a bigger break," said Santiago of his screwball. "It's just a fact that I'm throwing it right in the middle of the plate. I have to start working on getting off the plate."