ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Carlos Santana rediscovered his power stroke at an opportune time.
Santana hit a three-run homer during a five-run seventh inning and the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 10-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.
Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera hit two-out singles off Kyle Farnsworth (0-2) before Jason Kipnis’ RBI single against Jake McGee tied it at 4. After Michael Brantley had a run-scoring single, Santana extended the lead to 8-4 with his first homer since May 15.
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“It means a lot to him because I know that’s been weighing on him, especially the power drought that he’s had,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “It’s hard on those guys. He must be feeling a lot better.”
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was ejected by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna after Kipnis’ game-tying hit for arguing balls and strikes. He thought the umpire missed a two-strike pitch on Kipnis.
“Dan Iassogna is a very good umpire … he absolutely blew that call and that’s a very big play in tonight’s game,” Maddon said.
Kipnis and Santana added run-scoring singles in the ninth as the Indians went ahead 10-5.
“We’re so much better of an offensive club when Santana is contributing,” Acta said.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson left trailing 4-3 and with the bases loaded in the fifth, but was bailed out when Esmil Rogers (1-0) entered and got two quick outs.
“That was a very big win for us, especially the way things started,” Acta said. “Rogers did a fantastic job. He’s the one who pretty much saved the day. He gave us an opportunity to come back.”
Rogers struck out three and walked one over 1⅔ scoreless innings.
Santana walked, Casey Kotchman was hit by a pitch and both scored on Jack Hannahan’s two-out double in the fifth. Choo cut the deficit to 4-3 with an RBI single.
“It really came down pretty much to one play, when we hit Kotch with that pitch and then all of a sudden hang a change-up to Hannahan and then Choo’s ground ball up the middle that we could have caught or at least knocked down,” Maddon said. “All those moments should not have occurred just by making a better pitch against Kotch.”
The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the second on Elliot Johnson’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly by B.J. Upton. Luke Scott hit an RBI single and Desmond Jennings had a run-scoring bunt hit that made it 4-0 during the third.
Johnson had a seventh-inning RBI infield single. Jennings drove in a run during the ninth with a grounder.
Scott, who had four hits, is 12-for-29 in seven games against Cleveland since the weekend before the All-Star break. In his last 12 games against all other teams, the Tampa Bay designated hitter is hitless in 38 at-bats.
Masterson went 4⅓ innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson gave up three runs and five hits over six innings.
“It was a crazy game,” Masterson said. “The boys battled. A lot goes to the bullpen for going in there and keeping it right where it was. Two-run rallies. Just making it happen.”
Masterson walked a career-high seven.
- Rays 3B Evan Longoria, out since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring, will accompany the team for a nine-game trip that starts Tuesday. “We haven’t even put a potential date on going out and doing the rehab (assignment), but he’s feeling less strained on different movements, which is a good thing,” Maddon said.
- Cleveland LHP Rafael Perez (strained left lat) pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Columbus.
- Who: Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay
- Time: 12:10 p.m.
- Where: Tropicana Field
- Pitchers: Jimenez (8-8, 5.09 ERA) vs. Price (12-4, 2.80)
- TV/radio: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM