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Jays' Santos itching for shot at redemption after opening day letdown

Sergio Santos reacts in the ninth inning as the Jays' lead slips away.

Frank Gunn/Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Should the Toronto Blue Jays go out and lay a pasting on the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night it will leave Sergio Santos with mixed emotions.

On the one hand the Toronto closer will be happy that his team would have scored an early-season victory over an American League East rival.

On the other, a lopsided victory for Toronto would mean that Santos likely would not have been called upon to pitch as he would have if the game was close, and he'd have another day to mull over the ugly events that unfolded for him on Monday.

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"The hardest part is waiting," Santos said on Tuesday as the Blue Jays prepared for Game 2 of their series against Boston. "It's tough. I'm a competitor, I love to compete. I want to be out there. And I want them to give me the ball."

You would be hard-pressed to find many of the 48,000 or so fans who flocked to Rogers Centre for Toronto's regular-season home opener Tuesday night echoing similar sentiments.

The new Toronto closer was booed off the field in the ninth inning that he entered to protect a 2-1 Toronto lead.

When he exited, the Red Sox had rallied for three runs and would win 4-2 and Santos was charged with both the blown save and the loss in what was his home debut in a Toronto uniform.

You know what they say about first impressions and so far they haven't been good for Santos, who already has two blown saves and a loss to show for three early-season appearances.

Still, neither the Blue Jays or Santos are overly concerned at what they consider to be just a blip on the player's performance chart. He is, afterall, somebody who saved 30 games a year ago for the Chicago White Sox.

"Sergio's our closer," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said firmly -- when he wasn't even really asked the question in the first place.

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Farrell just said that he thought Santos was overthrowing a bit during Monday's game, which led to control problems.

The 28-year-old also has other matters on his mind.

He and his wife are expecting the birth of their third child Thursday and Santos will be leaving the team following Wedneday's afternoon game against the Red Sox to be with his wife in California.

The Blue Jays have an off-day on Thursday and will play the first of a three-game set on Friday at home against Baltimore.

Santos will miss that game but is expected to be back with the team on Saturday.

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