Los Angeles Angels starter Hector Santiago believes it'll be easier to face his first big-league team now that over a year has passed since the Chicago White Sox traded him.
He'll return to U.S. Cellular Field and face the White Sox for the first time Tuesday night looking to help the Angels avoid their longest road losing streak in 22 years.
Santiago (7-5, 2.78 ERA) began his career with Chicago between 2011-13, developing into a starter during his final year with the team. He was acquired by Los Angeles (59-52) after that season in a three-team deal with Arizona.
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The left-hander was thrilled about traveling back with his new club Monday.
"All around, (it felt) like coming home a little bit," he told MLB's official website. "Obviously, I'm an enemy now, but when you go in there, you feel like you're family."
On Monday, Santiago chatted with All-Star pitcher Chris Sale along with several other former Chicago teammates. He didn't get much advice from them about how to go after White Sox hitters, and not just because it would give him a competitive advantage.
There are numerous new faces with the White Sox (52-58), and Santiago hasn't faced any of their batters more than three times.
"Last year, definitely if I would've came over the first time and had to face all the guys that I still knew over there, it would've definitely been different," Santiago said. "Now, it's a new team."
He is 0-1 with a 6.19 ERA in his last three outings after posting a 0.95 ERA during a three-start win streak.
Los Angeles fell 8-2 in Monday's opener of this three-game set for a seventh straight road loss - matching its longest such slide since a nine-game skid July 17-25, 1993.
Another former White Sox player making his return to Chicago is Conor Gillaspie, who was traded July 24 and is hitting .186 in 12 games for the Angels and did not play Monday.
In addition, Chicago third baseman Gordon Beckham could see his first action against the club that acquired him Aug. 21 and saw him make 26 regular-season appearances and two more in the playoffs. Beckham wasn't offered a contract by the Angels and rejoined the White Sox.
Avisail Garcia homered twice and drove in four runs as Chicago ended a three-game slide and improved the AL's worst home mark since the All-Star break to 4-9. Garcia has four home runs and nine RBIs in his last three home games.
"I'm using my top hand more. I've been working on that," Garcia said. "Today, I feel a little bit better. Like I said, I come here every day and try to get better and try to get my swing back."
Johnny Giavotella drove in both runs for the Angels and he and Mike Trout had two hits apiece.
Chicago starter Carlos Rodon (4-4, 5.00) has been tagged for 12 runs over 7 2-3 innings in his last two outings. Manager Robin Ventura called Rodon's effort Wednesday "erratic" after the left-hander was charged with four runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-5, 10-inning win over Tampa Bay.
Rodon, 0-3 with an 11.88 ERA in his last four home starts, has never faced the Angels or any of their hitters.