CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Santana found his power stroke in his return to the cleanup spot for the Cleveland Indians.
Santana hit a three-run homer and an RBI double, Trevor Bauer pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, and the Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 on Tuesday night.
Santana also walked twice after he was just 3 for 28 with a home run and an RBI in his previous seven games. Touted prospect Francisco Lindor replaced Santana in the No. 2 slot and contributed two hits in his first career start.
“I know it’s a long season, but regardless of where they would have been hitting, when they swing the bat like that, we’re going to be just fine,” manager Terry Francona said.
Santana has made 30 starts in the No. 2 hole and 25 in the No. 4 slot.
“When I’m second, I don’t say nothing because, you know, I like to play,” Santana said. “But I feel much better (in the cleanup spot).”
The Cubs welcomed the Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup to Wrigley Field one night after Chicago beat Tampa Bay 2-0 in Game 6 for its third NHL title in the past six seasons. Cubs manager Joe Maddon hoisted the silver trophy over his head in front of the home dugout, and the teams posed for a picture on the pitcher’s mound.
“It’s kind of an honor that they would present it for me to be able to do that,” said Maddon, who got the Cup from Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp.
The opener of the abbreviated two-game series was rained out in time for Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo to catch the clinching game at the United Center. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who is from the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, celebrated with fellow Blackhawks fans on a packed street in Wrigleyville.
Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (6-5) walked six in five innings, and two of them scored on Santana’s drive that just cleared the wall in right in the third. Rizzo went 0 for 3 with a walk, extending his slump to 1 for 21 over the last six games.
“Frustrated with myself for the inability to overcome some of the walks and make some pitches,” Arrieta said.
Bauer (6-3) struck out seven and walked three, bouncing back quite nicely from a rough start in a 9-3 loss to Seattle last Wednesday. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA in his last seven games.
“It looked like he got stronger as he went,” Francona said. “Pretty impressive.”
Zach McAllister pitched the eighth and Marc Rzepczynski finished the four-hitter for Cleveland’s fourth shutout of the year.
Bauer also got his first career hit with a leadoff single in the fifth. He was promptly erased by a fielder’s choice, but Kipnis stole second and scored when Lindor singled for his first RBI in the majors. Kipnis scored for the third time on Michael Brantley’s double in the seventh.
“I threw the barrel in the middle of the zone, closed my eyes and I hit it and I was like ‘Oh wait, I hit it, wait, where is it? Oh, I gotta run,’” Bauer said of his clean single to center. “I didn’t think I’d ever get a career hit.”
Kyle Schwarber, another hyped prospect from Chicago’s rich minor league system, was promoted from Double-A Tennessee before the game, and made his major league debut after catcher Miguel Montero was ejected before the bottom of the eighth. Schwarber struck out looking in his first at-bat in the ninth.
NOT SO HAPPY
Indians center fielder Michael Bourn looked at a called third strike in the fourth, and then was ejected by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi before the bottom half of the inning. Bourn struck out in each of his two at-bats and is hitting .212 (7 for 33) in June.
Bourn’s argument with Cuzzi came at an inopportune time for Francona.
“I was trying to go to the bathroom,” Francona said. “Can’t even do that in peace. I heard the guys yelling and started trying to get myself in order. All I did was really kind of pee on myself. Too late to help Bourney anyway.”
Cubs: LHP Zac Rosscup was visited by pitching coach Chris Bosio, and then Maddon and a trainer in the ninth. He tried a few warmup pitches, and then was promptly replaced by Justin Grimm. “A little bit stiff in the shoulder,” Maddon said. “I’m waiting to hear exactly what’s going on.”
Indians RHP Danny Salazar (6-2, 3.54 ERA) and Cubs RHP Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.81 ERA) face off in Cleveland on Wednesday. Salazar pitched seven innings of three-run ball in a 4-0 loss at Detroit on Friday in his previous outing. Hammel is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in three June starts.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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