Twins 6, Padres 2

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SAN DIEGO (AP)—Jacque Jones needed just two pitches to get back on track.

The San Diego native hit two home runs, including the 20th of his career to lead off a game, as the Minnesota Twins beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Saturday night.

“I’d been really been scuffling, hitting the other way,” said the left-handed hitting Jones, who went the opposite way with both homers. “I was just looking for something away to get my opposite-field stroke back.”

Jones, who holds the team record for leadoff homers, hit his fourth of the season off Carlton Loewer. He added a solo shot—his eighth of the season—in the third, also off Loewer.

Jones is 4-for-9 with four RBIs in two games in the Twins’ first interleague series against the Padres.

“I gave my fans a couple of things to cheer about,” Jones said of the nearly 200 family and friends that were in attendance. “I think they were excited to see me play here. It’s good for those who can’t go to Minnesota or even Anaheim (for Angels games).”

A.J. Pierzynski had two hits and three RBIs for the Twins, who have won three straight.

Johan Santana (3-1) gave up one run and three hits over six innings, and struck out seven and walked one for his second win in as many starts.

“Santana was very good,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We know that he can do those things. It’s a lift for your baseball team when goes out and does what he did. It gives you a chance to score some runs.”

Loewer (1-2) worked only 2 2-3 innings in his fifth start, allowing five runs on five hits in his second-shortest outing of the season.

“He just ran into some deep counts,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “He worked real hard, but he made a lot of pitches in the third, so we went out to get him.”

Mark Loretta hit his fifth homer of the season with two outs in the sixth to cut the Padres’ deficit to 6-1.

Jones accounted for his second multihomer game of the season with his third-inning blast. The Twins later put together a two-out rally, capped by Pierzynski’s two-run single, to increase their lead to 5-0.

The Twins catcher was impressed with Santana’s performance.

“It was a great game,” Pierzynski said. “He deserves a lot of credit, being able to give us that many innings the way that our bullpen has been beaten up the last few games.”

In this other start this season, Santana went five innings in a 5-0 win over Boston on May 9.

Luis Rivas also had a two-out RBI single in the second.

Loewer, who started the season with Triple-A Portland of the Pacific Coast League, beat Arizona 4-1 in his previous start June 2 for his first win since 1999. He was sidelined last season because of injuries from an offseason accident in 2000.

The Padres’ Brian Buchanan had a RBI single off Tony Fiore in the eighth.

Notes

Twins reliever Mike Nakamura made his major league debut in the eighth and finished the game for a save . … The Padres placed shortstop Ramon Vazquez on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 1 and recalled shortstop Donaldo Mendez from Triple Portland. … Padres shortstop Lou Merloni is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday for an injured right knee. He was able to walk off the field after being knocked to the ground in a collision with left fielder Rondell White when catching a foul popup in the sixth. … Twins SS Chris Gomez had an MRI of his right knee before the game. He was hurt trying to catch a bloop hit by the Padres’ Ryan Klesko in the ninth inning of Friday’s game. Gomez stayed in and delivered a two-run double in the 11th inning of a 7-5 victory. … Padres 3B Sean Burroughs returned to the starting lineup afterbeing a late scratch Friday with a bruised left forearm.

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