TEMPE, ARIZ. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels lefty Hector Santiago kept up his push for a starting spot, pitching four shutout innings Friday in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs in a split-squad game.
In his second spring start, Santiago allowed only one hit and struck out five. He hasn't permitted an earned run in 6 2-3 innings this spring.
"That was the highlight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's four strong innings."
Santiago was 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA for the White Sox last year.
Cubs prospect Jorge Soler hit a go-ahead triple in the ninth. Luis Valbuena doubled and scored in the seventh.
Chicago starter James McDonald worked two scoreless innings.
Angels slugging prospect C.J. Cron, who hit a tying, three-run homer in the ninth on Thursday, delivered an RBI single in the eighth.
"C.J.'s looking very comfortable," Scioscia said. "The growth he's shown the last year and a half has been noticeable."
Angels: Santiago said he tried a new approach after he was unimpressed with his pregame bullpen warmup session.
"Today we worked away, away then got them off the plate and then attacked," he said.
Valbuena was the only Cubs projected starter in the lineup, but it made no difference to Santiago.
"I don't think about who's up there," said Santiago, who said he threw six or seven screwballs. "I just blacken them out and attack the zone."
Santiago is competing with Joe Blanton for one of two open sports in the bullpen. On Friday in a split-squad game against Colorado, Blanton gave up seven earned runs and four homers in 3 1-3 innings. He's coming off a 2-14 season with a 6.04 ERA in 2013.
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