{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Santana's record doesn't reflect fine season

Santana's record doesn't reflect fine season

|
Santana's record doesn't reflect fine season

TORONTO -- Ervin Santana's win-loss record doesn't tell the full story on just how good of a season he's having.

The Royals right-hander was a hard-luck loser again in Friday night's 3-2 loss in the series opener against the Blue Jays, falling to 8-8 despite allowing two earned runs over seven innings. It marked the 16th time that Santana has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 27 starts.

Manager Ned Yost said what's most impressive is the fact that Santana has rarely been lit up. He has allowed more than four earned runs in a start just three times, while logging at least six innings in all but two outings.

"He has really thrown some great games for us," Yost said. "A lot of those games, he has been matched up against some very good pitchers where run support has been tough to come by."

Yost is right. Among qualified starters in the American League, Santana is getting the 11th-lowest run support at 3.85 runs per game, which has prevented him from winning more ballgames.

Santana has a 3.19 ERA, trailing only ace James Shields' mark of 3.14 among Kansas City starters, and has rebounded well after a rough season with the Angels in 2012. The 30-year-old has cut down his home run and walk rates, while upping his strikeout rate.

A big reason why Santana has done a better job at limiting the long ball -- he has allowed 22 in 180 2/3 innings after surrendering a Major League-high 39 in 178 innings last season -- is he's inducing ground balls at a career-high rate.

Yost said when the Royals acquired Santana in the offseason, Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher told him that he was going to have a big season.

"Butcher told me that every time he has had a so-so year, he has always bounced back and had a great year," Yost said. "He told me when we got him that he is going to have a heck of a year for you guys, and that has proven to be very true."

Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español