Johan Santana has had four long days to think about his first loss in almost 10 months.
Santana was his usual dominant self Sunday, allowing two solo homers and striking out seven over eight innings. But Angels starter Bartolo Colon was even better, tossing 7 1-3 scoreless innings as Los Angeles held on for a 2-1 win, handing Santana his first loss since last July 11.
“We knew if Johan’s streak was going to be broken, it was probably going to be in one of these—where we couldn’t score many runs off their guy,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Santana had won 17 consecutive decisions, three shy of Roger Clemens’ AL record. He took the defeat in stride.
“It doesn’t mean the fun’s over. We’re still working,” Santana said as Latin music played loudly on the clubhouse stereo, a custom after his outings.
Coincidentally, Santana’s last loss also came in a two-hitter—a 2-0 setback to Detroit just prior to last year’s All-Star break.
“That’s the way it is,” Santana said. “You make mistakes, even though it doesn’t look like it, you have to pay for it.”
The Twins ended a three-game losing streak with Thursday’s 9-0 win over Cleveland.
The Devil Rays are coming off their first series win against the New York Yankees since Lou Piniella took over as manager prior to the 2003 season.
Mark Hendrickson pitched eight strong innings as Tampa Bay won its third straight with a 6-2 victory on Thursday. Aubrey Huff and Josh Phelps drove in two runs apiece for the Devil Rays, who matched their season-high three-game run from April 21-23.
Tampa Bay lost a season-high eight in a row between the win streaks.