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08/14/12 1:35 AM ET

Pestano returns home to Southern California

ANAHEIM -- For Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano, a native of nearby Newport Beach, Cleveland's trips to Anaheim can be a little crazy.

"It's always fun coming back home," Pestano said. "But it's always hectic with family and friends. ... Last year I had everybody here one game. But I've gotten a little smarter this year, I'm spreading them out over the course of the series this time."

Pestano was born in Huntington Beach, attended Canyon High School in Anaheim and played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton, 15 minutes from Angel Stadium. While he says he wasn't a fan of any team in particular growing up, he did come to a lot of Angels games, something that adds even more to the experience of pitching in Anaheim.

"I always enjoyed watching games here," Pestano said. "To be able to pitch on the mound where I used to watch games ... it's pretty special."

Making this particular homecoming all the more meaningful is the fact that Pestano has not allowed a run in 21 consecutive innings, the longest streak by a Cleveland pitcher this season and the longest by an Indians reliever since 1997. His 31 holds coming into Monday were tied with Rafael Betancourt for the Indians' single-season mark.

Pestano says his success is a product of lessons learned last season during his rookie campaign.

"Last year, I wanted to prove to myself that I deserved to be there. I really wanted to attack guys with my fastball so that if I did get them out, they didn't go back to the dugout feeling like they got cheated," Pestano said. "This year I've been a lot smarter with throwing my offspeed in counts where I need to, getting ahead and keeping guys off balance."

Kipnis returns with pinch-hit RBI

ANAHEIM -- Jason Kipnis, who missed five straight games with neck pain, pinch-hit in the ninth inning in Monday's 6-2 win over the Angels, knocking in a run with a sacrifice fly. He's expected to be back in the starting lineup Tuesday.

After seeing Kipnis work out prior to the game, manager Manny Acta said the left-handed-hitting Kipnis was available off the bench and would ready to make a full-fledged return Tuesday against Angels righty Zack Greinke.

Kipnis is a welcome addition to the heart of the order. He is hitting .259 with 11 homers and 59 RBIs in his first full season in the big leagues. He's also stolen 23 bases, tops among American League second baseman.

Santana solid in first outfield appearance

ANAHEIM -- Indians manager Manny Acta can comfortably pencil his catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana into a variety of slots in his lineup. Left field isn't one of them.

But with a depleted bench in the sixth inning of a 14-1 drubbing at the hands of the Red Sox Sunday, Acta found himself writing "7" next to Santana's name to prevent having a position player toe the rubber. That sent the 26-year-old to the outfield for the first time in his Major League career.

"I asked him, how long has it been," Acta said. "He said, 'It's been a while. ... But if there's a ball out there, I'll catch it.'"

It had been a while -- six years to be exact -- since Santana saw in-game action on the outfield grass. That came in 2008 with Class A Inland Empire. He played three games in right field for the 66ers that season.

In fact, it had been so long since Santana had needed something other than a first baseman's glove or catcher's mitt that he had to borrow a glove from pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

It served him well. Santana reeled in both fly balls hit to him, a feat that left quite the impression on his once-skeptical manager.

"Did you see him go after the first one? Backpedaling the whole way?" Acta said laughing. "It was interesting. ... Very athletic."

Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.