CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Jason Kipnis has not had the easiest season in 2017, with injury concerns since Spring Training impeding his consistency and thus his results.
The left-hander went 1-for-4 on Tuesday, swatting the go-ahead run via a solo shot in the 4th inning, making him 4-for-26 since coming off of the disabled list on August 6th.
“I’m not going to set any career numbers this year,” the second baseman told SportsTime Ohio’s Andre Knott after Tuesday’s win. “My job right now is to not look at the numbers. It’s about the process, getting better swings.”
The fact of the matter is, that when Kipnis’s numbers are good, so becomes the team’s record. As has been explored as being the same with Edwin Encarnacion, and as would be expected with middle-of-the-lineup hitters, when Kipnis drives in runs, the Indians win.
With Tuesday’s win, which the former All-Star influenced directly, the Indians are 14-6 when Kipnis posts an RBI. They are 3-1 when he drives in multiple runs.
Kipnis drives success further when he gets on base, as the AL Central leaders have an 11-4 mark in games in which the 30-year old has multiple hits. That improves to 16-5 when Kipnis reaches base multiple times in a game.
The second-half heat-up has continued to become more of a fact than myth for Carlos Santana.
The first baseman reached base all five times at the dish on Tuesday, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and two walks. He drove in three.
Santana entered July with a rough .225/.329/.383 slash line and a .712 OPS, but had raised those numbers to .243/.346/.429 and .775 OPS coming into Tuesday.
In the 35-game stretch since the end of June, the 31-year old has gone 38-for-125 with 10 doubles, with 9 home runs and 21 walks. He entered the 35th game of that run with a .287/.387/.541 and .928 OPS in that span.
Manager Terry Francona informed the media before Tuesday’s win that left-hander Andrew Miller will head to Columbus on Wednesday for a rehab start with the Clippers in Triple-A. If his one clean inning goes to plan, Miller will be activated Friday in Kansas City.
Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall made a rehab start in right field for Columbus as well, going 1-for-3 with an RBI double. Francona said he would like to see Chisenhall play both corner-outfield spots before being activated.