Carlos Santana is back in the Indians’ lineup tonight after missing the past 10 days with a concussion and he’s batting cleanup, but manager Manny Acta has him in the designated hitter spot instead of catching.
Santana started at DH and homered yesterday in a minor-league rehab game to convince the Indians that he’s ready to return after taking a foul ball to the face mask on May 25.
Prior to the concussion Santana hit .245 with five homers and a .747 OPS in 43 games while making 31 starts at catcher, three starts at first base, and three starts at DH.
In his absence Lou Marson took over as the primary catcher, with Luke Carlin backing him up.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.