Santana's bat coming to life
Carlos Santana's second year in the majors hasn't been as exciting as his first, but Indians manager Manny Acta is sticking with his young catcher in the cleanup spot. Acta's loyalty paid off Tuesday in the Indians' 7-3 win over Kansas City.
Santana led the Indians both offensively and defensively. He went 2-for-3 with a home run. He also showed off his strong throwing arm by picking off a runner at second base.
Like the man who hits in front of him in the order, No. 3 hitter Shin-Soo Choo, Santana has been battling a season-long slump. The catcher, however, has shown signs of coming out of it in recent games.
The two hits Tuesday night raised Santana's batting average to .233. That's a modest figure, but it's a major improvement from where Santana's average was for most of this season, which was in the low .200 range, and at times even below .200.
Through it all, Acta has stood by Santana, saying initially that it was too early to worry about Santana's lack of hitting. More recently, Acta said Santana's at-bats have been getting better, even if the results weren't there.
Slowly, however, the results have been there. Santana is hitting .325 (13-for-40) over his past 11 games. The Indians are counting on him to be a big run producer in the middle of the lineup, and Santana's minor league resume suggests he is capable of that. It hasn't happened yet, but at least now Santana seems to be heading in the right direction.
--RHP Chris Perez pitched the ninth inning in a non-save situation Tuesday because he needed some work. Because of rainouts Saturday and Sunday, Perez, like many Indians relievers, had a lengthy rest. Perez's appearance Tuesday was his first since May 10, and the rust showed. He needed 28 pitches to get three outs, giving up a run on one hit and two walks.
--DH Travis Hafner had big hits in both of the Indians' wins in Kansas City on Monday and Tuesday. In the Royals' two-game sweep, Hafner had three doubles and six RBI.
--SS Asdrubal Cabrera's home run Tuesday was his seventh of the season, which is a career high. Cabrera's previous career high was six, accomplished in 2008 and 2009.
--RHP Carlos Carrasco pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs to get the win in the Indians' 7-3 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday. The win was Carrasco's first since April 8. Between wins, he went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in four starts, and he spent two weeks on the disabled list.
--OF John Drennen, the 33rd player taken overall in the 2005 draft, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a female fertility drug that is banned due to its ability to increase testosterone. In his third season with Akron, Drennan was hitting .256 with a .367 on-base percentage, three homers and 15 RBI through 36 games this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 22-4 -- The Indians' record when they've scored four or more runs, which they did Tuesday in a 7-3 win over Kansas City.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's a good sign of good at-bats, and he's been doing it for a while. He's always 3-1, 3-2. Things are starting to come around for him." -- Manager Manny Acta, on C Carlos Santana, who is seemingly emerging from a season-long slump.
--CF Grady Sizemore (bruised right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11.
--RHP Mitch Talbot (strained right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 12. He threw a bullpen session May 3, and he pitched in extended spring training May 9. He made a rehab start for Class AAA Columbus on May 14, and manager Manny Acta said he would make one more start in the minors before returning.
--INF Jared Goedert (strained abdominal muscle) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Akron on May 10.
--OF Trevor Crowe (right shoulder surgery in March 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He will be out until at least late July.