Twins
Indians
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Twins snap five-game losing streak

Jul 29, 2007 - 3:34 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) - Johan Santana got just enough support to help the Minnesota Twins stop a couple of dubious streaks.

Torii Hunter scored the go-ahead run on an infield ground ball in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Minnesota snapped a five-game losing streak and beat the Indians for the first time in seven meetings this season.

"This was a great win for our ballclub, much needed," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Santana, who was coming off his worst start of the season Monday against Toronto, when he allowed a season-high six runs in five innings, allowed only two runs on four hits in seven innings while striking out 12.

"People were talking about me not having my best stuff," Santana said. "But I know what I need to do to get our team to win."

Pat Neshek (6-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Joe Nathan finished up in the ninth for his 21st save.

The runs came courtesy of a two-run homer by Travis Hafner in the seventh inning that tied it at 2-2.

In the ninth, Hunter led off with a double off Joe Borowski (2-4), moved to third on an infield grounder and scored on rookie Brian Buscher's one-out fielder's choice.

"We did a good job of executing in the ninth," Gardenhire said.

With runners on first and third, Gardenhire put Nick Punto, who was inserted as a pinch runner after Rondell White was hit by a pitch, in motion to take away the double-play ball.

It turned out to be a good move as Buscher hit a grounder right at second baseman Mike Rouse, who had no choice but go home with the throw. Rouse threw it high, allowing Hunter to easily score the winning run.

"We wanted to put the pressure on (Cleveland)," Gardenhire said. "We put (Punto) in motion and force them to make the play."

"You have to go home on that play and that's what I did," Rouse said. "I was trying to get rid of it and get it to the plate as fast as I could."

Santana entered the game winless in his two previous starts against Cleveland this season, despite having given up only six runs in the two games. He seemed in control throughout, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth before giving up a two-out double to Grady Sizemore.

"He has that opportunity (to throw a no-hitter) every time he steps on the mound," Gardenhire said.

"I felt pretty good," Santana said. "I was trying to stop this losing streak we had. I was trying to show these guys (the Twins) that we still have a chance to come back, like we did last year."

Minnesota, which trails first-place Detroit by eight games in the American League Central, was nine games out of first place last season on July 28, but went 37-24 over its last 59 games to win the division.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner kept his shutout chances alive by getting Casey Blake to fly out to end the inning, keeping the Twins ahead, 2-0. But Santana would not be able to get out of the seventh unscathed.

Victor Martinez led off the seventh with a single to left, snapping an 0-for-15 slump. Hafner followed by blasting Santana's 1-2 pitch over the right field wall for his 17th homer.

"I still felt good," Santana said. "Victor put the ball in the right spot and Hafner hit a fastball that came back over the plate. (Hafner) is a strong guy. Unfortunately if you make a mistake to him that's what will happen."

Hafner was 5-for-31 lifetime against Santana entering that at-bat; four of his six hits off Santana are for homers.

Santana was dominant in the first five innings. After a one-out walk to Blake, Santana retired the next 13 batters - nine of them on strikeouts.

"Until Grady got the first hit, he was dominant," Indians first baseman Ryan Garko said. "He mixed all three of his pitches. You can't sit on anything. His fastball is 93-94 but he has a real short arm slot and it gets on you real quick."

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the third with some help from an unexpected power source.

With one out, Jason Tyner drilled Indians starter Jake Westbrook's 1-1 pitch down the right field line, getting just enough lift on the ball to clear the eight-foot high wall.

It was Tyner's first major league home run in 1,220 at-bats, which was the highest among active players.

"They are going to have to find a new stat to put on the scoreboard when I play on the road," Tyner said. "It's like they were trying to rub it in."

Four batters later, with runners on first and second, Justin Morneau singled to right off Westbrook to drive in the second run.

That was all the damage the Twins managed against Westbrook, who matched Santana's effort by allowing two runs on four hits while striking out three.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 5 1
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - JOHAN SANTANA, PAT NESHEK (8TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND JOE
    MAUER
    CLE - JAKE WESTBROOK, RAFAEL PEREZ (8TH), JOE BOROWSKI
    (9TH) AND VICTOR MARTINEZ

    HOME RUNS:

    Jul 28 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BUSCHER ON FIRST, L FORD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    CLEVELAND 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J TYNER (.281, 2-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Twins vs. IndiansJul 28 9:39 PM
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  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TRAVIS HAFNER (17) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF JOHAN SANTANA SCORED VICTOR MARTINEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2, CLEVELAND 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.315, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins vs. IndiansJul 28 9:06 PM
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    Twins vs. IndiansJul 28 8:18 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED LUIS CASTILLO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MORNEAU ON FIRST, J BARTLETT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    CLEVELAND 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.293, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins vs. IndiansJul 28 7:52 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON TYNER (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF JAKE WESTBROOK.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1, CLEVELAND 0
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: L CASTILLO (.305, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins vs. IndiansJul 28 7:41 PM
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