Indians first baseman Carlos Santana played the hero on Sunday, hitting a 10th-inning grand slam as the Indians moved into a tie for first place with the Twins in the AL Central. He was the hero once again on Monday, hitting a walk-off solo home run to give the Indians sole possession of first place for the first time since April 17.
Santana was 3-for-4 on the night, singling twice and drawing a walk prior to his fateful at-bat leading off the ninth inning. He worked a 2-2 count against Marcus Walden before depositing an 85 MPH slider over the high fence in left-center field.
After Monday’s effort, Santana is now hitting .286/.408/.531 with 26 home runs, 71 RBI, and 83 runs scored in 503 plate appearances. The surging Indians, meanwhile, have won nine of their last 11 games.
Pirates starter Chris Archer exited Tuesday night’s start against the Pirates while warming up ahead of the second inning. He was examined by the Pirates’ training staff before walking off the field. The reason is currently unknown but an update should be forthcoming.
Archer allowed a pair of singles before getting consecutive strikeouts to see his way out of the first inning. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a forgettable year in Pittsburgh, entering Tuesday’s action 3-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 141/55 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings.
The Pirates, overall, are in rough shape, losing 22 of their last 27 games dating back to July 21. They are 51-73, 15.5 games out of first place in the NL Central cellar. It may behoove them to play it safe with Archer since they don’t have anything to play for over the remainder of the regular season. The club holds options for his 2020 and ’21 seasons at $9 million and $11 million, respectively.