KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Once again, Carlos Santana was a huge hit in Kansas City.
Santana, who homered five times at Kauffman Stadium in a series last month, hit a two-run homer as the Cleveland Indians topped the Royals 6-1 Friday night.
The loss cut the Royals’ lead to a half-game over Detroit in the AL Central.
Santana connected in the ninth inning for his 22nd home run, helped Cleveland win for the fifth time in six games.
“I have teams, Minnesota, Kansas City, I have good sense when I come here,” Santana said.
Santana said he hit a changeup from Francisley Bueno that was right down the middle.
“I hope the streak continues,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “That’s a nice swing. He can get streaky with his homers.”
Boosted by his big four-game set in July, Santana is 14 for 26 with six homers, 13 RBIs and a 1.269 slugging percentage this year in Kansas City.
Santana also had an RBI single as he kept wrecking the Royals. He is hitting only .229 overall this year.
Danny Salazar (5-6) pitched four-hit ball for five shutout innings.
“I was feeling good with my fastball,” Salazar said. “I was throwing it hard. That was my only thought.”
He didn’t come back out after a 44-minute rain delay in the bottom of the sixth.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Jason Vargas (10-7) gave up 10 hits and four runs in six innings. In his past two starts, both losses, he has allowed 21 hits in 12 innings.
Zach Walters hit an RBI double in the second to put Cleveland ahead.
Tyler Bolt led off the Indians’ three-run third with a bunt single. Santana and Jose Ramirez had RBI singles and Michael Brantley, who had three hits, scored on Jeff Kipnis’ groundout.
Salazar gave up four singles, walked two and struck out three in five innings. After his exit, there was a parade of six Cleveland relievers.
The Royals did not score until the ninth on an RBI single by Alcides Escobar, who matched a career high with his fourth hit.
“That was a tough loss,” Escobar said. “I got four hits, but only one run. There’s nothing we can do about it now.”