International League pitchers beware: Carlos Santana is in a groove.
The top catching prospect homered twice and drove in all five Clippers runs on Monday night as Columbus topped visiting Durham, 5-1. Santana also walked twice, lifting his on-base percentage to an International League-leading .461.
The switch-hitter also homered while drawing another pair of walks Sunday afternoon. In his last two games, Santana has reached base in seven consecutive plate appearances, homered in three straight at-bats and driven in eight runs.
While Santana has delivered consistent excellence at the plate -- he is batting .333 -- his home runs seem to come in streaks. He opened the season with four longballs in his first four games, then hit just one more in his next 28 before delivering a solo shot at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last Thursday. While playing for Double-A Akron last season, he homered in four consecutive games from July 24-27. He hit 23 in 130 games overall.
Center fielder Jose Costanza was the only other Clipper with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 to lift his team-leading average to .353.
Columbus hurler Mike Gosling improved to 3-0 in his second start of the season. The left-hander allowed five hits and a walk while striking out five in 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He lowered his ERA to 2.96 in 13 appearances.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.