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Carlos Santana leads Indians past Tigers with walk-off grand slam

Apr 30, 2011, 8:57 AM EDT

Carlos Santana walk off AP

It’s no stretch to say that the Indians are the biggest surprise in baseball so far this season. However, one of the more remarkable parts about their hot start is that they’ve been winning ballgames despite their cleanup hitter Carlos Santana struggling miserably with the bat.

While Santana has shown plenty of patience, his batting average has been sitting right around .200 for over two weeks now. But last night, he picked an opportune time to make his presence known.

Santana hit a walk-off grand slam off Joaquin Benoit with one out in the ninth in a thrilling 9-5 win over the Tigers.

The 25-year-backstop worked himself into a favorable 3-1 count, as he often does, and as he told Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he was looking dead red.

“I looked for a fastball, and he threw it,” Santana said. “I made good contact.”

The Indians have now won 11 consecutive home games while their 17-8 record in the best in the American League. They have set a new club record for wins in the month of April. This is all very exciting to watch for a team that many dismissed before the season even started, but it will be interesting to see if they can keep the magic going in May.

  1. Lukehart80 - Apr 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Santana’s start to the season has not been what I hoped for, but at no point have I stopped believing he will turn it around. That’s not said from some place of blind faith in every player on my favorite team (I can’t speak for every Indians’ fan, but I don’t have a ton of that eternal optimism), but simply put: Carlos has the goods; I’m confident he will be one of the very best catchers in baseball.

    When Santana came to bat in the 9th, I expected him to put the game away. I would have been happy to see him draw another walk there; hitting the grand slam instead was even better.

  2. bigtrav425 - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    i hope this is what he needed to get that bat going finally!

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