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Santana solid in first outfield appearance

ANAHEIM -- Indians manager Manny Acta can comfortably pencil his catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana into a variety of slots in his lineup. Left field isn't one of them.

But with a depleted bench in the sixth inning of a 14-1 drubbing at the hands of the Red Sox Sunday, Acta found himself writing "7" next to Santana's name to prevent having a position player toe the rubber. That sent the 26-year-old to the outfield for the first time in his Major League career.

"I asked him, how long has it been," Acta said. "He said, 'It's been a while. ... But if there's a ball out there, I'll catch it.'"

It had been a while -- six years to be exact -- since Santana saw in-game action on the outfield grass. That came in 2008 with Class A Inland Empire. He played three games in right field for the 66ers that season.

In fact, it had been so long since Santana had needed something other than a first baseman's glove or catcher's mitt that he had to borrow a glove from pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

It served him well. Santana reeled in both fly balls hit to him, a feat that left quite the impression on his once-skeptical manager.

"Did you see him go after the first one? Backpedaling the whole way?" Acta said laughing. "It was interesting. ... Very athletic."

ANAHEIM -- Indians manager Manny Acta can comfortably pencil his catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana into a variety of slots in his lineup. Left field isn't one of them.

But with a depleted bench in the sixth inning of a 14-1 drubbing at the hands of the Red Sox Sunday, Acta found himself writing "7" next to Santana's name to prevent having a position player toe the rubber. That sent the 26-year-old to the outfield for the first time in his Major League career.

"I asked him, how long has it been," Acta said. "He said, 'It's been a while. ... But if there's a ball out there, I'll catch it.'"

It had been a while -- six years to be exact -- since Santana saw in-game action on the outfield grass. That came in 2008 with Class A Inland Empire. He played three games in right field for the 66ers that season.

In fact, it had been so long since Santana had needed something other than a first baseman's glove or catcher's mitt that he had to borrow a glove from pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

It served him well. Santana reeled in both fly balls hit to him, a feat that left quite the impression on his once-skeptical manager.

"Did you see him go after the first one? Backpedaling the whole way?" Acta said laughing. "It was interesting. ... Very athletic."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.