Carlos Santana has been here before.
Only this time, he actually got to suit up for the Seattle Mariners.
Santana, acquired Monday in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, started at first base and batted fifth, going 0-for-2 with a walk in Seattle’s 2-0 victory Tuesday night against the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
The teams will wrap up their three-game series, tied at a game apiece, on Wednesday afternoon in Seattle.
Santana was acquired by the Mariners, along with shortstop J.P. Crawford, in a December 2018 trade that sent Jean Segura to the Phillies.
The rebuilding Mariners sent Santana to Cleveland 10 days later in a three-team trade that netted them Edwin Encarnacion.
“It was a situation that I couldn’t control, but baseball is like that,” Santana said. “I’m very happy that the Mariners brought me back. … Right now, this is my first day, and I feel good. I feel comfortable, and everybody has been good to me.”
Santana, 36, a 13-year veteran, batted .216 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 52 games this season for the Royals. He was an All-Star in 2019 with Cleveland when he batted .281 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs, all career highs.
With Ty France on the injured list with a Grade 2 flexor strain, Mariners manager Scott Servais said he was happy to have reinforcements — and to finally be able to pencil Santana’s name into the lineup.
“Every time I see Carlos, I joke with him about that,” Servais said. “I say, ‘You’re the favorite player I’ve never managed.’ He likes it and we have a good time with it. Obviously, he’s a tremendous clubhouse guy, a really good teammate, a switch hitter who gets on base. Maybe the overall numbers don’t look great this year, but I know he’s been hot here in recent times, and hopefully he can help us out.”
The Mariners could use the help.
Crawford and outfielders Jesse Winker and Julio Rodriguez are facing likely suspensions for their actions in Sunday’s benches-clearing brawl against the Los Angeles Angels. Winker (seven games), Crawford (five) and Rodriguez (two) have appealed and are waiting for hearings with MLB officials.
In addition, right fielder Taylor Trammell suffered a right hamstring strain trying to avoid an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fourth inning Tuesday and had to leave the game.
Winker broke a scoreless tie Tuesday with a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
He has received standing ovations each of the past two nights after standing up for teammates in the brawl.
“It’s amazing,” Winker said. “I’m thankful for sure. I take a lot of pride in wearing this uniform. So to get that reception, it was cool. It was unexpected. I didn’t come to the yard thinking about that. But to get that, it was special. It was something that I’ll hold in my heart for a really long time.”
The Orioles managed just one hit — a one-out single by Ryan Mountcastle in the fourth inning.
“(Starting pitcher) Robbie Ray was really good, really tough to get a hit off of,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Two Mariners relievers finished the shutout.
The Orioles plan to send right-hander Austin Voth (0-0, 7.81 ERA), a former University of Washington standout, to the mound Wednesday against Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen (3-8, 4.31).
Voth will face his hometown Mariners for the first time; Flexen has one previous start against Baltimore on June 2 at Camden Yards, when he allowed three runs in five innings of a game the Mariners won 7-6.
–Field Level Media