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Santana's red-hot bat keeps tormenting Royals

KANSAS CITY - Carlos Santana patiently tapped his bat on the toes of his dirt-covered cleats in the ninth inning, stepped back into the batter's box and continued to torment the Royals.

Santana launched a two-run home run to cap the Indians' 6-1 win on Friday night. It wasn't a game-changer, but his 22nd homer inflated his already mind-boggling numbers vs. Kansas City this season.

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Santana finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, further proving the notion that he's become an uncomfortably painful thorn for the Tribe's American League Central rivals.

"He plays well against us. We've got to figure out a way to get him out, hopefully starting tomorrow," Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain said.

Tribe manager Terry Francona has an understandably different take on this matter.

"I hope he continues. That's a nice swing, he can get streaky with his home runs and that would be really welcome if he wants to go on another one of those streaks," Francona said.

Much of Santana's damage against Kansas City this year has come at Kauffman Stadium, as these numbers reflect:

• Santana is batting .611 (11-for-16) in his last six games at Kauffman Stadium with six home runs. In 57 games at Progressive Field, he has eight jacks.

• The first baseman homered at Kauffman Stadium for his fourth straight game and tied the single-season record for home runs by an opposing player. He has more home runs here this year than Billy Butler (five in 67 games) and Mike Moustakas (five in 57 games).

• Santana now has seven home runs overall vs. Kansas City this year. He's smacked no more than three against any other club.

• The seven long balls are tied for second in franchise history for single-season home runs vs. the Royals. Manny Ramirez holds the record with eight in 1998.

• Santana's collected 14 RBIs against the Royals in 2014. He has no more than eight against any other club.

Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for

Cleveland Indians, Carlos Santana