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.
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