Entire lineup contributes to Indians' offensive outburst
After injuring himself Tuesday night, Santana crushes three-run homer to cap 8-run 3rd
CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona checked on Carlos Santana early Wednesday morning. The first baseman had been struck hard on the left wrist by a pitch in the ninth inning the previous night, and Francona was not sure Santana would feel up to playing again so soon.
Santana said he was fine, and Francona trusted him.
In the third inning of a 12-3 rout of the Rangers, Santana crushed a pitch from Rangers starter Colby Lewis to deep center field, where the baseball bounced into the bushes beyond the wall to cap off an eight-run outburst. The three-run home run was evidence that Santana was indeed feeling better.
"How about that?" Francona said. "That's pretty amazing. He's a pretty tough kid."
The manager paused.
"I bet it didn't feel that great," he added with a smirk.
What unquestionably did feel great for Cleveland was ending its six-game homestand with a dozen runs in a lopsided win -- one coming on the eve of a seven-game swing through Seattle and Kansas City. Each member of the Tribe's starting lineup had at least one hit and a run scored, and seven players collected at least one RBI.
Second baseman Jason Kipnis and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall fell a home run and triple shy of a cycle, respectively. Center fielder Michael Bourn churned out three hits, knocked in a pair of RBIs and stole a base. Designated hitter Nick Swisher pulled a pitch from Lewis over the wall in right field for a leadoff home run in the second.
"Everybody was getting involved," Bourn said. "These games don't happen all the time, but when they do happen, it feels good. ... We had a good game, especially for it being a [noon] game. We came out, and we were aggressive, and we got on the board early."
Things really clicked for Cleveland in the third, though.
The Indians had seven hits in their eight-run third inning, which represented the largest single-inning outburst by Cleveland since scoring eight in the first against Houston on April 20, 2013. Santana opened the third with a walk and ended the flurry with his three-run shot to center. In between, Chisenhall had a two-run double, and David Murphy, Roberto Perez and Bourn each chipped in an RBI single.
The bulk of the damage came against Lewis, who was charged with 10 runs (nine earned) in only 2 2/3 innings of work. Following his exit, Chisenhall added a solo home run off Texas reliever Anthony Bass in the fourth, and Michael Brantley had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the fifth.
"Any time you put up eight, that makes for a good day," Francona said. "That was good. We spread it out. Everybody swung the bat."
That included Santana, who talked his way into the lineup on Wednesday morning.
"It hurt last night. I couldn't sleep," Santana said of his sore wrist. "But I wanted to play."