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White Sox’ Alex Colome stays perfect in save opportunities

NEW YORK — Closer Alex Colome had appeared in five games for the 5-9 White Sox with all of two save opportunities, so staying sharp has been a challenge. Manager Rick Renteria is getting him in games just to keep the rust off.

“It’s a little hard but every two, three days they give me an inning,” said Colome, who recorded his third save in as many opportunities with a perfect ninth in the White Sox’ 5-2 win over the host Yankees Sunday. “I try to have it in my mind that [when I pitch in low leverage situations] there are no excuses.”

Colome (3.00 ERA, three saves) said he’s at his best “when I pitch more.  Two or three days in a row is when I’m better, more consistent.”

The Sox acquired the 30-year-old Dominican right-hander, who ranks fourth among American League saves leaders since 2016 behind Edwin Diaz, Craig Kimbrel and Roberto Osuna with 98, in an offseason trade with the Mariners for catcher Omar Narvaez.

Alex Colome and catcher Welington Castillo of the White Sox celebrate a win against the Seattle Mariners during the season home opening game at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Colome is confident there will be more chances for saves.

“Some things aren’t right right now but we have a great team,” he said. “We know we’re going to win games. I know the guys behind me. They have talent.”

Santana, take two

Right-hander Ervin Santana, who was rocked by the Rays for seven runs on seven hits including three home runs in 3 1/3 innings his first appearance as a Sox Tuesday, said there is no mystery as to why he was ineffective.

“I was not in the strike zone, I was behind in the count and when that happens you’re going to pay,” the two-time AL All-Star, most recently with the Twins in 2017, said. “I saw the video and that was it. There was nothing major.’’

Santana worked with a 93-94 mph four-seam fastball in 2017. He was at 91 Tuesday, which he said is more than good enough.

“You ask about the velocity but I don’t really care about the velocity,” Santana said. “I care about locating the fastball and making pitches. If I throw 93-94 it’s fine for me and if I throw 90-91 it’s fine, too. The main thing for me is locating.’’

Santana gets his second start Monday night when the Sox open a three-game homestand against the Royals.