Santana feels support after slump-busting homer
ANAHEIM -- After launching a three-run home run against the Angels in the fourth inning Monday night, Carlos Santana received a warm welcome from his teammates in the visitors' dugout. Santana has been appreciative of all the support he has received throughout his April slump.
"They were happy. They give me support all the time," Santana said. "These are my teammates. This is a family. They give me support after I got the hit here. I've had bad moments, but they were happy. They know I can hit and I can help the team."
Santana's teammates were disappointed that his great personal moment came within a 6-3 loss in the opener of this three-game series. The three-run shot off Tyler Skaggs gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead, but the Angels scored five unanswered runs off Tribe righty Justin Masterson to deal the Indians the loss.
"I was hoping we could be victorious," Masterson said, "so we could do nothing but talk about Santana and how great he did right there. That was big. He's been struggling a little bit. To be able to do that, it was big time. Unfortunately, with the loss, it kind of overshadows how good that could've been.
"Hopefully that'll keep him going on a streak over the next few days and few weeks."
The home run snapped an 0-for-12 slump for Santana, who finished 2-for-4 for his first two-hit showing since April 6 against the Twins. Heading into Monday's game, the third baseman had hit just .052 (3-for-58) in his previous 16 games. The three RBIs he collected against the Angels were as many as Santana had in his previous 23 games combined.
On the season, the switch-hitting Santana has hit .140 with two home runs, six RBIs and 21 walks in 25 games for Cleveland.
Through it all, Indians manager Terry Francona has kept Santana in the cleanup spot.
That has meant a lot to Santana.
"Tito supports me and gives me confidence," Santana said. "He hasn't changed anything with me. I feel great. Tito is a good manager. He has experience and he knows what kind of players that he has. I feel so great, because Tito supports me and he gives me energy day by day."