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Santiago throwing his screwball for strikes

Santiago throwing his screwball for strikes

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Hector Santiago pitched well and got his work in, but a precious streak came to an end in a 12-2 win over the Brewers on Wednesday.

He threw his first screwball for a ball.

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"But it was a good one, man," Santiago said after giving up two runs in 4 1/3 innings to put his spring ERA at 1.64. "It kept its path. It was on the right road. It was definitely a great chase pitch. We almost got [Mark Reynolds] on that check swing [in the second inning]. That was a great pitch for me."

Santiago wants to throw his screwball a lot more often this season, even though he's still a lot more comfortable with his fastball, changeup and slider. The key for the 26-year-old left-hander is to show that he can throw it for a strike.

And by his own count, he's 16-for-17.

"Hey I'm just throwing, man," Santiago said, smiling. "Got it going, got it going."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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