Johan Santana may be having his troubles at home this season, but he has been spectacular on the road.
Santana is 15-0 with a 2.15 ERA in his last 17 road starts since a 5-2 loss at Kansas City on May 29, 2004. The Venezuelan left-hander fired a four-hitter for his second career shutout in his last road start, a 10-0 victory at Arizona on June 8. He improved to 6-0 with a 2.52 ERA in seven road starts this season.
Santana has had less success at the Metrodome, where he has lost three straight decisions since a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on April 10. He gave up four runs and five hits, and walked a season-high four in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-1 loss to San Diego on Sunday.
Santana, who leads the majors with 124 strikeouts, struck out three and became frustrated with home plate umpire Kevin Kelley’s strike zone in the seventh. He argued with Kelley and manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected when he came out to remove his pitcher and shouted in the umpire’s direction.
“The man behind the plate had a bad inning,” Gardenhire said. “Everything that was a strike became a ball. It’s too bad when the game gets away from you like that. Johan deserves a lot more respect than that.”
Santana is 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in eight career games, including four starts, against Milwaukee.
The Twins have been struggling on offense, losing five of their last six games, including a 3-1 defeat to Milwaukee on Friday. They went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and have scored 12 runs in their last six games, seven in the five losses.
Minnesota, the defending three-time AL Central champion, fell 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox, who have won eight in a row.
“You see they’ve been winning, you see they’ve been playing good baseball, and obviously we’re not making up any ground,” Minnesota’s Michael Cuddyer said. “You definitely notice that.”
Damian Miller hit a solo home run for Milwaukee, which won its third straight.