In a virtual tuneup for the second series of the season, the Indians on Thursday night fell in a Cactus League game 6-3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Indians will play the Diamondbacks in the regular season following their season-opening series against the Texas Rangers.
In anticipation of playing under National League rules so early, Carlos Santana started in right field in an effort to give the Indians the option of keeping his bat in the lineup during that series. On Thursday night, and in windy conditions with the roof open at Chase Field, Santana fielded all four fly balls that were sent his way. On one, he was turned around but made the catch.
"I thought he did great,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “The wind was howling. That was probably the toughest place to be. The one ball was over his head, he turned and he [corrected it]. Millsy must be one heck of a coach. He did a really good job. I was really pleased and I think he was, too. You know what? It's nice to know that, if we do that, which we might, we'll see. All the things we said before. I'm proud of him for wanting him to and putting the effort into it. He looked good."
Michael Brantley played in his third consecutive game for the first time this spring, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
"He won't play tomorrow. He’s feeling good,” Francona said. “He was allowed to have another at-bat. I just thought he's played three in a row, he's swinging the bat good. I don't want him to do more than the other guys. That's not fair, either. But, I think he's doing fine. And, more importantly, he feels good about himself.”
The Indians conclude Cactus League play Friday night against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.