Santana had a 20-start unbeaten streak snapped in a 5-3 loss at Toronto on Tuesday. The 25-year-old left-hander had won 10 straight decisions dating to July 23, 2003.
“You always have to be proud of the good things you do,” said Santana, who allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. “Every time I went out there I just tried to give my team a chance to win.”
Santana’s shaky outing was part of a six-start winless stretch for the Minnesota rotation, which went 0-4 with an 8.16 ERA as the Twins dropped four of six games in that span.
Minnesota ace Brad Radke ended the skid Saturday, allowing just one run and six hits over seven innings in a 9-1 victory over the White Sox, giving Minnesota a one-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central.
The White Sox had won four straight, including three in a row against the Twins by a combined 29-5 margin.
“We have to take this momentum and hopefully take care of business (Sunday),” said Twins catcher Matthew LeCroy, who hit a two-run homer Saturday. “They’re going to come out chomping at the bit. It should be a pretty good game.”
LeCroy has hit in six straight games, going 8-for-21 (.380) with two homers and eight RBIs.
“We just have to forget about Saturday and come back to win the series,” said first baseman Paul Konerko. “It was a goal, and we can still get it.”
Chicago is 9-22 at the Metrodome in the last three years.