Santana continues knack for going yard on birthday

Slugger smacks solo homer to help lead Indians past Astros

Santana continues knack for going yard on birthday

HOUSTON -- The Indians might want to consider leaving a birthday card in Carlos Santana's locker before each game.

On Wednesday night, Santana celebrated his birthday with a solo home run off Astros starter Scott Feldman, helping power Cleveland to a 2-0 victory at Minute Maid Park. Over the course of his career, even as a Minor Leaguer, Santana has had a knack for heroics on his big day.

"This is not new for me," Santana said. "Every year I try to get a home run for my birthday."

Santana has done well with that yearly goal, too.

Dating back to 2009, when he was with Double-A Akron, Santana has hit .444 (12-for-27) with six home runs and 14 RBIs on his past seven birthdays combined. He did not play a professional game on his birthday from 2005-08, but hit one homer in '09 at Double-A, two homers in '10 at Triple-A, two homers with Cleveland in '12 and then one more against Houston on Wednesday.

Santana has hit a combined .333 (6-for-18) on his birthday in the Majors.

"This is a special day for me," said Santana, who led the Indians with 27 homers last season. "I don't like it too much, because I'm a little old."

Santana laughed when asked if he will tell himself it is his birthday before all of Cleveland's games.

"I'll try. I'll try," Santana said. "One of my friends told me, 'Try to [pretend] every day is your birthday and I [bet] you'll hit a home run.'"

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.