Duo combine for 3 HRs as division-leading Indians rout Halos
By Earl Bloom
Special to MLB.com |
ANAHEIM -- Francisco Lindor came back from his scheduled day off -- one that, at 22, he said he didn't want, but understands why it was given -- and delivered three hits, including a home run, in the Indians' 8-3 win over the Angels on Sunday at Angel Stadium.
Carlos Santana homered from each side of the plate as the American League Central-leading Indians won another series, their fifth in their last nine.
The Indians built a 5-0 lead in the second inning, then cruised behind Danny Salazar, and friends. It was the second time in the series they'd jumped an Angels starter -- this time it was David Huff -- for a big lead.
"I love it," Lindor said of the offense. "I see these guys put in the work, in the batting practice and in the cage. When it pays off on the field like this, it's huge."
Huge would be a good description for Santana's second homer of the game, a 410-foot two-run shot to right in the ninth. It exited at 106 mph, according to Statcast™. His second-inning homer was his first right-handed this season, and he was also robbed at the wall by Mike Trout in the fifth.
"My approach now, I'm thinking in the middle," Santana said. "I'm not trying to do too much, just making hard contact."
His first homer went to left, the shot to Trout was in center, and the second homer was pulled down the right-field, so it appears that approach is working.
"That one gave us a chance to catch our breath," manager Terry Francona said of the left-handed blast that extended the Indians' lead to 8-2.
As for the lack of a right-handed homer before Sunday, Santana said: "I'm going to keep working, especially right-handed."
Santana's consecutive-games streak ended at 131 on April 29. Before Sunday's game, Francona said he was going to continue to give his everyday players "a day before he's just fried." In the modern game, that even goes for 22-year-olds.
"It was fine," Lindor said of the day off Saturday (second baseman Jason Kipnis got his Sunday).
It turned into a non-start, as Lindor pinch-hit in the ninth Saturday, and played the bottom of the inning defensively.
"I didn't like it because we didn't win, and I want to play, but I'll do what's best for the team," said Lindor. "What counts is October."
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com based in Anaheim. He covered the Indians on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.