ARLINGTON, Texas — Hector Santiago provided stability Thursday night to a White Sox pitching staff that will lose Gavin Floyd for an extended period because of a tear in his right flexor muscle but soon could receive the services of John Danks.
Santiago, who started after Jake Peavy was scratched because of back spasms, pitched 51/3 innings of two-hit ball and Tyler Flowers cranked a three-run homer to vault the Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Rangers.
Santiago’s clutch performance came after Floyd confirmed the tear and that his ulnar collateral ligament is unstable.
Orthopedic surgeon David Altchek will examine Floyd, who injured his elbow Saturday, on examined Monday in New York. He has treated the arm injuries of former Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez and Carl Pavano.
“There are options (instead) of surgery,” Floyd said after the Sox’s victory. “There are options of rehab. And everything like that. We just have to weigh the options and see what happens.”
Floyd said Rangers team surgeon Keith Meister confirmed the tear in Arlington shortly after the Sox arrived Monday night.
“We’ll wait until the last doctor so I can think about it, pray about it and take it from there,” Floyd said.
While Santiago struck out six and walked only two in a 92-pitch effort, Danks threw seven-innings of five hit ball for Double-A Birmingham against Chattanooga in his first minor league rehabilitation start.
The most encouraging aspect regarding Danks, who had left shoulder surgery on Aug. 6, 2012, was that his fastball was clocked as fast as 91 mph.
He struck out one and walked one while allowing a home run to Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig in the sixth. Danks could make his next start Tuesday for Triple-A Charlotte at Columbus.
Santiago, meanwhile, relied on his screwball to keep the Rangers off-balance. He allowed a home run to Adrian Beltre to start the second but didn’t allow another hit until Ian Kinsler doubled with one out in the sixth.
“It’s fun because you know when you’re (starting) and you get to go out there for multiple innings,” Santiago said after his fifth major league start and his first of 2013.
Flowers’ homer, meanwhile, took some pressure off a Sox lineup that stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings. Alejandro De Aza got a bad read on Adam Dunn’s bloop single that left him stranded at third base in the third.
Center fielder Dewayne Wise was scratched from the lineup because of neck stiffness.
“We’re still losing people, but at least we’re winning games,” manager Robin Ventura quipped.