Santiago (9-4) allowed two runs on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts over 5.1 innings in a win Monday over the Royals. Santiago's winning streak is now extended to five games, dating back to July 2. After allowing 17 home runs in his first 16 starts, he has allowed just two in this stretch. If he can continue to keep the ball in the yard, he can enjoy a measure of success, but his career suggests this won't last. He owned a 1.3 HR/9 in 643 career innings entering Monday's start -- for context, of the 1,955 pitchers all-time to record at least 600 innings, only 80 have had a worse home run rate.
Santiago (8-4) allowed the Rangers to score three runs on five hits and three walks while lasting just five innings Wednesday, but still went home with his fourth consecutive win. He'd certainly pitched much better in the prior three, but Santiago's fantasy owners will take what they can get after having weathered the storm of his struggles in May and June. The 28-year-old lefty has outpitched his peripherals for years, consistently finishing with an ERA in the mid-threes despite his FIP often suggesting it ought to be a full run higher, but that run of luck has mostly come to an end this season. He's actually still outpitching his peripherals despite an unattractive 4.32 ERA, and a matchup against the defending-champion Royals on Tuesday doesn't promise to help Santiago improve his ratios.
Santiago improved to 7-4 with Friday's win over the White Sox, striking out seven with no walks across seven scoreless innings. Santiago took a 15-inning scoreless streak into the All-Star break, which he extended with Friday's dominant outing in which he threw 76 percent of his pitches for strikes and induced 13 swings and misses. The lefty has lowered his ERA to 4.27 during this impressive run and will look to keep it rolling Wednesday versus the struggling Rangers.
Santiago struck out nine batters and did not allow a run through seven innings en route to picking up his sixth win of the season Thursday against the Rays. Santiago labored to open the contest, but found another gear after his first time through the order, as he allowed just two baserunners and punched out five through his final four innings. He did put four on base via the walk, but Santiago can now boast 13 innings of scoreless baseball in his last two starts. He will head into the All-Star break having notched an ERA of 4.58 over 18 starts.
Santiago allowed one unearned run against the Red Sox on Saturday, striking out four and walking four en route to his fifth win of the season. Santiago had all the run support he needed Saturday, as the Angels put up 21 runs against Clay Buchholz and the Boston bullpen. While he has shown himself capable of producing nice outings, Santiago has been far too susceptible to the blowup this season, as he did not log an ERA under 6.00 in either of the last two months. He will take a 4.93 ERA into his next start against the Rays on Thursday.