Santana looks to bounce back from his first loss since early June, while the Blue Jays hope for a third straight strong dominant pitching performance when the teams open a three-game series Monday in Toronto.
Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay threw a three-hitter in Sunday’s 8-0 win over Seattle. It came one day after Josh Towers threw 6 2-3 innings in a 1-0 win over the Mariners. Overall, Toronto pitchers have not allowed a run in the last 22 innings.
The Blue Jays (48-50) will turn to Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.73 ERA) Monday as they try for their third win in a row. The right-hander, who pitched out of the bullpen until joining the rotation in mid-May, is 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 13 games as a starter.
“(Marcum) has been unbelievable all year - he really has,” manager John Gibbons told the Blue Jays’ official Web site. “You look forward to the day he takes the mound - you really do. He’s going to give you a chance to win.”
Marcum, though, allowed three runs in six innings of a 6-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
He is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two career starts against the Twins. He pitched effectively at Minnesota on June 26, when he allowed one run in eight innings of Toronto’s 12-inning, 2-1 defeat.
Santana (11-7, 2.65), meanwhile, is coming off a 3-2 loss to AL Central-leading Detroit on Wednesday - his first defeat since June 9.
The reigning AL Cy Young award winner allowed three runs - off a two-run double and solo homer from Magglio Ordonez - and five hits in eight innings against Detroit to fall to 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his last seven starts.
“When you make mistakes like that, and you have a pretty good hitter out there, they’re going to do damage,” Santana told the Twins’ official Web site. “That’s how they won the game.”
The left-hander is 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA in nine games - six starts - against Toronto.
Minnesota (51-47) lost 7-2 to the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, but finished 6-4 on their longest homestand of the season despite being swept by Detroit in three games.
Morneau is batting .375 (6-for-16) with five RBIs in his last four games and .333 (5-for-15) with a homer and seven RBIs in four games against the Blue Jays in 2007.