Johan Santana knows he’s approaching the longest win streak in AL history. He just doesn’t like to dwell on it.
“I don’t really think about it,” said the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, who is unbeaten since last July 11. “I think it’s good to know you’re doing something special. But I don’t put that in my mind. I just want to play the game and have fun. Baseball is my passion. That’s what I like to do.”
Santana went 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA last year, pitching Minnesota to its third straight AL Central title and taking home his first Cy Young. He is on track to better those numbers this season, going 4-0 in his first five outings, including a sparkling performance in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Kansas City.
The left-hander allowed a season-low one run and five hits over a season-high eight innings, striking out eight and walking one. He needs three more wins to match Roger Clemens’ AL-record run of 20 consecutive winning decisions.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said no one on the team is talking about Santana’s amazing streak.
“The only time I hear about it is when you guys ask us about it,” he told reporters. “We don’t sit around and talk about it. We just say he’s unbelievable.”
The Twins won their fifth straight Saturday, beating the Angels 4-2 behind 7 1-3 strong innings from Brad Radke. Justin Morneau homered and tripled for Minnesota, which is trying to complete its second straight sweep. The Twins took three straight at Kansas City before opening this six-game homestand.
Darin Erstad went 3-for-4 with a run scored for Los Angeles, which has lost three of its last five games.