Santiago struck out 10 and allowed three hits over seven shutout innings Tuesday before the Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes fell to the Inland Empire 66ers, 3-1.
The 2007 16th-round Draft pick picked up steam as the game went along, retiring 10 in a row after Drew Heid singled with two outs in the third. During that stretch, he struck out six consecutive batters, including C.J. Cron, the Angels' top prospect who leads the Minor Leagues with 101 RBIs.
"I really want to give all the credit to the catcher [Jan Vazquez]," Santiago said. "He called a great game, I didn't even shake him [off] once. I told him before the game ,'I believe in you, I'll follow you wherever.'
"I was getting ahead, pounding the strike zone, being aggressive and finishing them off when I had two strikes. Fastball up or slider down, that was my two pitches."
After posting an 11.25 ERA in four starts in June, Santiago recovered nicely in July. He went 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in six appearances, recording 48 strikeouts over 41 innings. Following Tuesday's gem, he was informed he would be promoted to Double-A Chattanooga.
"My dream is to play in the big leagues and one of my goals for this year was to make it to Double-A, so I'm really happy," he said. "I'm really excited to go there and do my best and help the team win."
Tuesday's outing was the third time this season that Santiago has fanned at least 10 batters in a game. Overall, the 22-year-old right-hander is 5-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 16 games. He ranks third in the hitter-friendly California League with a 1.11 WHIP and is tied for 14th with 96 strikeouts.
To succeed at the next level, Santiago said he needs to stick with what's been working.
"Be consistent," the Puerto Rico native added. "Do the same thing I've been doing -- throwing my pitches, commanding my fastball like I've been doing, being aggressive with the hitters and getting ahead."
Ryan O'Sullivan (1-2) took the loss after allowing two unearned runs on two hits in the eighth.
Joc Pederson, the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect, went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored for the Quakes.
Angels No. 12 prospect Randal Grichuk had two hits, including a triple, and scored a run for the 66ers.