CLEVELAND: Travis Hafner missed his sixth game with soreness in his knee cartilage, but manager Manny Acta said he is improving.

“He took batting practice today,” Acta said. “He’s still not 100 percent, but I anticipate that I could use him off the bench if needed. Tomorrow he’ll come in and do some more running with [head trainer] Lonnie Soloff.”

Acta does not expect Hafner to go on the disabled list, but he doesn’t know for certain.

Carlos Santana suffered a mild concussion when he was hit in the mask by a foul ball Friday night in Chicago.

“He’s making progress,” Acta said. “He’s been cleared to do cardio. Other than that, we have no timetable.”

PEREZ STRIKES AGAIN — According to the Associated Press, Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson complained that Chris Perez made a disrespectful gesture — passing his hand in front of his face — after striking Dyson out on three pitches in the ninth inning.

Dyson told a reporter that he didn’t see Perez make the gesture until he watched a replay on television.

MARSON STILL OUT — Acta elected not to start Lou Marson behind the plate after he took three stitches in the side of his mouth Sunday, when he was hit in the face with a curveball by Gavin Floyd.

“If he took a foul tip off the mask, it could cause him a lot of pain and maybe bust up those stitches,” the manager said. “But he should be back in there tomorrow. Lonnie was trying to get some type of mouth guard for him.”

WEEKLY HONOREE — Carolina second baseman Tony Wolters, 19, was named by the Tribe as the organization’s Minor-League Player of the Week for batting .429 with two doubles and one RBI in 21 at-bats.

Wolters was a third-round pick in the 2010 draft.

FARM FACTS — Zach McAllister (3-2, 2.92 ERA) gave up two earned runs (three total) and allowed two hits in five innings, but Columbus lost 7-1 to Buffalo. … Tony Wolters hit his first home run of the year in Carolina’s 4-3 loss to Wilmington. … Jordan Smith and Leonardo Castillo each had two hits and two RBI, but Lake County lost 14-7 to Lansing.

— Sheldon Ocker