CLEVELAND — Carlos Santana was back in the lineup a day after being benched by manager Manny Acta for failing to run hard to first in an 8-4 loss to Oakland on Wednesday night.
Acta said he had no reservations starting Santana, who apparently took the benching hard.
“I already had a talk with him (Wednesday) night,” Acta said.
Though the Indians were counting on more from Santana this season, he has been one of their most consistent players during the second half of the year. He is batting .279 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs over his last 44 games since July 15.
HIs season average stands at .242 (13 homers and 56 RBIs in 115 games), but he ranked among the American League leaders with 75 walks and an on-base percentage of .363 through Wednesday.
Pitching coach Ruben Niebla was ejected by home plate umpire Paul Emmel for arguing balls and strikes in the seventh inning. Niebla was tossed during a visit to the mound after reliever Tony Sipp had issued the third of his four walks in the inning.
“It was just through the course of the game, I felt like there were some inconsistencies,” Niebla said. “The trip to the mound there kind of triggered me to say something.”
Acta did not support Niebla’s case.
“With the amount of walks that both teams had, you have to throw the ball over the plate,” he said. “(Niebla) was probably fed up with it, but I didn’t think the umpire was an issue. We just didn’t throw strikes.
“If you walk four guys in an inning, that’s a lot of balls there to be blaming the umpire. He can’t miss (16).”
The A’s and Indians combined to walk 13 batters.
The Indians wrap up their longest homestand of the year (10 games) with a three-game series against Texas that begins tonight at 7:05.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-13, 5.58 ERA) opens the set, opposing RHP Ryan Dempster (8-6, 2.99), while Roberto Hernandez (0-3, 7,53) goes for Cleveland on Saturday (7:05 p.m) against RHP Scott Feldman (6-10, 4.95).
Zach McAllister (5-5, 3.82) starts for the Indians in the series finale Sunday (1:05 p.m.), the Rangers countering with LHP Derek Holland (9-6, 4.90).
Advanced Class A Carolina infielder Ronny Rodriguez was named to the Carolina League’s postseason All-Star team. Rodriguez, a non-drafted free-agent acquisition in 2010, entered Thursday batting .267 with the team lead in homers (19) and RBIs (66).
Former Cleveland utility man Jose Lopez was called up by the first-place White Sox on Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a double in his first at-bat in a loss to Baltimore.
Lopez, 28, made the Indians’ opening-day roster out of spring training, batting .249 with four homers and 28 RBIs in 66 games before being released and signed by Chicago.
The A’s had their way with the Indians this year, winning eight of 10 games, while outscoring them 60-30. … Cleveland has allowed 274 runs with two outs, which accounts for the most in the AL. … Roberto Hernandez turned 32 Thursday. It would have been the 29th birthday of the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona. … Tonight, 7:05, STO/WTAM 1100-AM.
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