He'll get that chance on Friday night against the AL Central-leading Royals, who open a season high-tying 10-game homestand.
Since surrendering four runs in his Royals debut - a 5-2 loss at the Chicago White Sox on April 3 - Santana (2-1, 2.48 ERA) has given up just four runs in 23 innings. All of those were plated in the first inning of his three starts."Once he gets settled in, he gets on a nice roll," manager Ned Yost said after Santana threw seven innings of two-run ball in Sunday's 4-2 win at Boston.
The former Los Angeles Angel has walked just five - none on Sunday - while striking out 26.
"When I don't give any walks, it gives me more opportunity to attack the zone and work more comfortably," Santana told the Royals' official website.
Kazmir (0-0, 16.20) admitted he was "a little jittery" in a 19-6 win at Houston on Saturday when he gave up six runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings. It was his first appearance since April 3, 2011, at Kansas City, where he gave up five runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 12-9, 13-inning defeat. The left-hander was put on the disabled list (lower back tightness) less than a week after that outing - his only one of 2011 - then was released two months later.
Kazmir spent last season pitching in the Atlantic League, and his 2013 season debut was pushed back due to an oblique injury.
"Overall, stuff I can take out of this start and bring into my next start is what not to do, I guess," he said.
Indians first baseman Mark Reynolds needs to maintain his approach at the plate. He's hitting .375 (6 for 16) with two homers and a team-best six RBIs on the first five games of the trip.
"Typically, Mark, when he's started out well, those have been his bigger years," manager Terry Francona told the MLB official website of Reynolds, who leads the club with seven homers and 19 RBIs.
Left fielder Alex Gordon could be on his way to one with the Royals (11-8). His batting average has been well above .300 since the first week of the season, and now he's starting to deliver some power, hitting both of his home runs during the last three games.
Gordon's first career grand slam was the big blow in the 10th inning as Kansas City capped off a 4-3 trip with an 8-3 win over Detroit on Thursday.
"I was just trying to make contact," he said.
Gordon hit .333 with three homers - tied with Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer for the team lead - and 11 RBIs off Indians pitching last season. Kansas City won 10 of 18 in this divisional matchup in 2012, including five of nine at Kauffman Stadium.
Cleveland (8-11) ended a five-game skid at Kansas City - and a seven-game slide in the series - with a 15-4 victory in its last game visiting the Royals on Sept. 23.
Santana dropped two of his three starts against the Indians last year to fall to 2-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 14 starts against Cleveland. However, one of those victories was a no-hitter on July 27, 2011, at Progressive Field.
|April 20, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - left wrist contusion|
|April 20, 2013||Brett Myers||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|April 16, 2013||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Sore elbow|
|April 15, 2013||Michael Bourn||15-Day DL||Right hand laceration|
|April 14, 2013||Michael Bourn||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hand laceration|
|April 09, 2013||Lou Marson||15-Day DL||Cervical neck strain|
|Kansas City Royals|
|March 31, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|February 12, 2013||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Just what the Kansas City Royals did not need was another off day.
The Royals and Cleveland Indians were rained out Friday night with the game postponed about 30 minutes before the scheduled first pitch. The game has been rescheduled for as a doubleheader Sunday, the first day-night doubleheader in Kauffman Stadium history.
The Royals have had six days off in the past 12 days. They had regular scheduled days off on April 15, 18 and Monday, games rained out Tuesday and Friday and a game postponed April 19 when they were in Boston, which was shut down for the manhunt for the marathon bombers.
While the Royals lead the American League Central with an 11-8 record, they have found it difficult to get into a regular rhythm.
"We're awfully tired," closer Greg Holland said and laughed after playing only two games in the past five days. "We've played six games in 10 day or something like that. We're ready to play some games especially when you're playing well you want to keep doing it. These rain outs are kind of smelly."
Holland has retired the side in his past four outings, striking out nine of 12 batters, but other relievers have seen scant work. Luke Hochevar has been limited to four appearances and 5 1/3 innings this season. Left-hander Bruce Chen pitched Sunday for the first time in 11 games and hasn't pitched since. When J.C. Gutierrez worked two hitless innings Wednesday at Detroit, it was his first appearance since April 12.
After a 4-3 trip to Atlanta, Boston and Detroit, the Royals returned home Friday for a 10-game homestand, but that was delayed a day.
"It was a long trip, but it was successful," Holland said.
Holland acknowledged sitting and waiting can wear out a player much as playing.
"A lot of guys know from past experiences they've got to stay active, go for a jog in the gym or do light lifting just to keep the body active," Holland said. "Because if you sit there all day in bed that's when I feel the worse and my back stiffens up. It's just kind of a process of being able to stay fresh and not too fresh."
The Indians, too, have had their share of rain outs. This was the second Indians' rainout in four games and their fourth this season. They also had an off-day Thursday and have played only once in the past three days.
One advantage of not playing is that it's less games that Michael Bourn will have to miss. He's been on the disabled list since April 17 - retroactive two days earlier, with a lacerated right index finger. He's eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday.
"Michael worked out at the ballpark and he'll hit in the cage," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We're trying to get him back and we're going to go by how he's doing."
Bourn wasn't sure when he'd be ready as the stiches just came out on Thursday.
The Friday probable starters, Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir and Royals right-hander Ervin Santana will start Saturday. Indians right-hander Justin Masterson and Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start the first game Sunday. Neither club has announced the starter for the second game Sunday.