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Sands designated for assignment; Santana activated

Indians outfielder delivered big homer in Saturday's win

SEATTLE -- There are benefits to being the first player a team considers when the Major League club needs some help. There are also drawbacks -- such as a being called into the manager's office for some tough news following an impressive game.

Jerry Sands has lived that role this season.

On Sunday morning, Cleveland designated Sands for assignment in order to activate first baseman Carlos Santana from Major League Baseball's paternity list. The news came after the journeyman belted a two-run home run that proved critical in the Tribe's 4-3 win over the Mariners on Saturday night.

"He kind of knew the drill," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Sands. "We actually thought about trying to figure out a way to keep him and we just couldn't come up with [a solution]. ... Having Jerry was really good. We said getting him here, we wanted to have him help us win a game, and he did."

Santana was placed on MLB's paternity list on Thursday to be with his wife in Cleveland for the birth of their daughter. He missed the first three games in Seattle, but caught a flight on Saturday night in order to be activated and in the lineup for Sunday afternoon's game.

Cleveland promoted the 27-year-old Sands from Triple-A Columbus with the idea that he could help face some of Seattle's left-handed pitching. Sands came through on Saturday with his second-inning, two-run homer off Mariners lefty Roenis Elias and the outfielder later added a walk.

In 10 games for the Indians this season, Sands has hit .375 (9-for-24) with a 1.028 OPS.

"They called my number and I was ready to get in there and help this team," Sands said after the victory. "They told me Santana was going to gone for a few days. They weren't really sure how long it would last."

Cleveland, which designated Sands for assignment previously on April 29 without losing him to waivers, now has 10 days to either trade or release the outfielder, or assign him to the Minors if he clears waivers once again.

"I think there's a decent chance he gets claimed," Francona said. "For his sake, I hope he does, because you ask guys to do it the right way and he does everything you could ask. He's got a great attitude. So, I guess for his sake, I hope he does get claimed. And I told him, I said, 'For our sake, I sort of hope you get through.' He understands. It's kind of a compliment to him. He's a great kid."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Cleveland Indians, Carlos Santana