Santana, Tribe rake at Fenway to win slugfest

Slugger falls a single shy of cycle as club records season-high 18 hits

May 30th, 2019

BOSTON -- came a single away from hitting for the cycle in a game filled with season highs and milestones for the Indians on Wednesday.

“It’s tough,” Santana said. “Everybody waits for that and I’m thinking [about it], too. I tried, I tried.”

The first baseman kick-started the 14-9 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park with the Indians’ first triple of the season -- a 417-foot shot off Ryan Weber in the first inning that drove in for the early lead. With the extra-base hit, Santana extended his streak of reaching base safely to 15 games.

Santana’s fourth-inning solo home run soared a projected 337 feet according to Statcast, and his double in the seventh cleared the bases in a four-run inning. 

He had an opportunity for the cycle with two on and one out in the top of the ninth against right-hander Heath Hembree. Santana struck out on three straight four-seam fastballs, the last one a fervent swing chasing a high 93.1 mph pitch. 

“I’m thinking [about the cycle],” Santana said. “But he’s making good pitches, and I struck out.”

He had considered bunting, but the Red Sox’s defense prevented that.

“I asked [first-base coach] Sandy Alomar, ‘Sandy, do you think I can bunt?’ He said, ‘If you want to do it, do it,’” Santana said. “But [Rafael] Devers, he played in.”

Nonetheless, he finished the night with a stacked box score, going 3-for-4 with a career-high-tying five RBIs, four runs and two walks. Santana also tied his career high with three extra-base hits.

“Two walks, a double, triple and a home run,” manager Terry Francona said. “And it sounded loud when he hit the ball.”

The Indians scored in each of the first seven innings on Wednesday and got on the board in nine straight innings going back to Tuesday’s win. Santana’s near cycle was just one of many Indians highlights on the night.

Three triples: The Indians entered the game without a triple this season, with the Marlins the only other team in the Majors who hadn’t hit one (Miami also recorded its first triple Wednesday). Santana changed that right away, and -- who hit a clutch home run on Tuesday -- contributed two of his own. Wednesday was the first time the Indians have recorded three triples since June 5, 2012, against the Tigers.

“You hit the ball in the right place here, and you’ve got a whole lot of room to run,” Allen said.

Nine extra-base hits: Jose Ramirez led the Indians with two doubles, which came in back-to-back innings. The third baseman was out of the lineup on Monday due to a prolonged slump to start the season, but he found his groove Wednesday. The Indians’ nine extra-base hits (including a season-high five doubles) were the most since tallying 12 against the Rangers on July 21, 2018.

18 hits: The Indians recorded a combined 17 hits in the first two games of the series. On Wednesday, they surpassed that total and set a new season high. Their previous mark was 14 hits on May 16 against the Orioles. , Mercado and Santana had three hits apiece. They had not reached 18 hits since Sept. 15, 2018, vs. Detroit.

1,500 strikeouts: recorded his 1,500th career strikeout in the seventh inning. The 37-year-old made his Major League debut on June 16, 2002, as a member of the Padres and struck out seven in that game against the Mariners.

“The first one is kind of special because I struck out Ichiro [Suzuki], and I still have the video,” Perez said.

This has been quite the series for Perez, who went shoeless on Monday when his cleats broke and reached a milestone two days later.