CLEVELAND — In a day game after a night game, Carlos Santana got a much-needed seat on the bench.
Santana was not in the lineup for the series finale against Pittsburgh on Sunday, with manager Manny Acta saying it was a scheduled day off for the slumping catcher.
Since leaving the disabled list with a mild concussion, Santana is batting just .154 (6-for-39) in 11 games, his season average sinking to .227 over 54 games.
Santana, who signed a five-year contract extension worth $21 million in April, led the Indians with 27 home runs in 2011, setting a single-season franchise record for homers by a switch hitter.
Thus far, Santana has gone deep just five times, and only twice since April 17.
Michael Brantley’s career-high hitting streak, which ended Saturday at 22 games, accounts for the longest in the majors this season and the longest since Atlanta’s Dan Uggla hit in 33 straight games last year.
Brantley’s streak is the longest by a Cleveland player since Casey Blake hit in 26 straight in 2007.
Less than a week after an interleague series at Great American Ballpark, the Indians and Reds will get together again in a three-game set at Progressive Field that begins tonight at 7:05.
Derek Lowe (7-5, 3.78 ERA) opens the series for Cleveland, opposing RHP Mat Latos (5-2, 4.64), while Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.56) goes for the Indians on Tuesday (7:05 p.m.) against RHP Mike Leake (2-5, 5.05).
Justin Masterson (3-6, 4.38) will start the series finale Wednesday (7:05 p.m.), while the Reds counter with RHP Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 3.84).
There will be added flavor to the series between intrastate rivals, with Lowe and Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker exchanging disparaging remarks during the Reds sweep of the Indians last week.
The Indians signed third-round draft choice, right-hander Kieran Lovegrove.
Cleveland has agreed to terms with 15 of its 40 picks, including its first three, and six of its top 10 choices.
Lovegrove, the 110th overall draft pick, attended the same high school (Mission Viejo High) as former Indians ace CC Sabathia. Baseball America ranked Lovegrove as the 52nd-best right-hander available prior to the draft.
Cleveland has until July 13 to sign its draft choices.
To clear room for recently optioned left-hander Scott Barnes, the Indians released Triple-A Columbus right-hander Hector Ambriz.
Ambriz made 34 appearances out of Cleveland’s bullpen in 2010 before missing all of last season following Tommy John surgery. He was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 20 games for Columbus this year.
The Indians are 4-8 in interleague play this season and own a 25-41 record since 2009.
• Jason Kipnis stole a base and has not been caught in 15 consecutive attempts. He leads the team with 17 stolen bases, which accounted for the most by a Cleveland player — Asdrubal Cabrera — all of last season.
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