Twins 2, Rangers 0

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Johan Santana gave his manager a scare when he limped off the mound before the seventh inning.

The Minnesota Twins are crossing their fingers that Santana—their most consistent pitcher since he joined the rotation—was bothered by nothing more than a cramp.

Santana pitched six shutout innings before leaving with what the Twins said was a cramp in his left leg, and Shannon Stewart drove in two runs as the Twins beat the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Saturday night.

Santana (9-3) allowed five hits to win his sixth straight decision. Santana, 8-2 in his 13 starts this season, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

“He hasn’t been feeling well for the last few days and only ate a hot dog all day,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He just cramped up a little. I took off running from the dugout like I was going to rub him down. There was a little sense of panic. We just needed to get some fluids in him.”

Santana went out to warm up for the seventh, but was favoring his left leg. He was replaced by Juan Rincon.

“I had a hamstring injury in spring training and that felt like a knot in the back of my leg,” said Santana, who will be evaluated Sunday. “This didn’t feel like that. Hopefully it’s a cramp and not anything else. It was hot and humid out there and that also might have caused me to cramp.”

Rincon allowed one hit over 1 2-3 innings and LaTroy Hawkins got the final out of the eighth, retiring Alex Rodriguez on a fly ball with a runner on second.

Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect ninth for his 31st save in 34 chances.

“The bullpen did a great job,” Gardenhire said. “Hawk has had some success against Rodriguez, and not many guys do. And he got him out.”

In the first, Santana was struck on the left thigh with a line drive by Texas’ Mark Teixeira, but Santana remained in after a brief visit by Gardenhire. Santana said getting hit with the line drive didn’t bother him.

The Twins and Kansas City Royals are a half-game behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

Teixeira went 3-for-4 for the Rangers, who have lost five straight and eight of nine.

Rangers starter Mickey Callaway (1-5) and Santana both pitched shutout ball over the first five innings before the Twins broke through in the sixth.

Callaway was making his first start for Texas after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day.

A.J. Pierzynski hit a leadoff single in the sixth and went to third when Denny Hocking faked a bunt, then slapped the ball just inside the third-base line for a double.

Stewart singled up the middle to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

Callaway allowed two runs and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and didn’t issue a walk.

Callaway was 1-4 for Anaheim earlier this season before he was released July 28. The Rangers signed Callaway on Aug. 8 and assigned him to Oklahoma, where he was 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts.

“I thought Mickey was impressive tonight,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He carried over what he’s been doing (in the minors). He’s a guy we’re thinking of bringing to camp next year so let’s get a look at him now. He gaveus a chance to win, but we didn’t do anything offensively, obviously.”


The start was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 26 minutes. … Twins LHP Eric Milton pitched two scoreless innings in his first minor league rehab assignment Saturday. Playing for Fort Myers in the Florida State League, Milton—out since mid-March with a knee injury—allowed one hit, struck out two and walked two. He threw 38 pitches. Team officials will wait until Sunday to see how Milton’s arm responds before scheduling another rehab stint. … In the fourth, Stewart dropped a pop-up in right field hit by Shane Spencer for a two-base error. Stewart has five errors this season. … Stewart is hitting.351 (85-for-242) lifetime against Texas.

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