Santana set to face Miami Wednesday

Ervin Santana opened up the second half of the Braves’ season with a pitching win and a team win (6-4) against the Phillies on Sunday Friday 18. For his next start on Wednesday, Santana is looking for more of the same.

“Tomorrow I’ll do what I’ve started to do,” Santana said. “Go out and try to strike every batter out.”

So far this season, Santana has pitched one no decision and one win against Miami. His Wednesday start will be just two days shy of two months since Santana he last pitched against the Marlins. In his first season of pitching in the National League, Santana’s season average ERA is currently the second highest it’s been since 2010 at 4.03.

Santana admitted he struggled in June. He took losses in three of his five starts last month, taking a no decision in his first start and a win in his last of the month.

“Everything, lately, has turned out how I wanted it to. I had a bad month, very bad, but everyone has their highs and their lows,” Santana said. “I just focused on my work in the bullpen and I’m seeing the results now.”

He started July with another pitching win against Arizona on July 4 and then a loss against the Mets on July 9.

Santana said he’s specifically been working on maintaining the ball low and working the broken pitches during practices, though he thinks his turning point may have been a result of rest versus work.

A few days off during the All-Star break could be what made the difference for Santana and his teammates.

Santana said he rested and tried to not think about baseball at all during the All-Star break. He pitched a winning game against the Phillies during the Braves’ first game back from the break.

“We had a bad spell there and we played poorly for a few months,” Santana said. “I think those three free days they gave us helped us a lot and it brought us together so that we could come back to winning games.”