Twins 4, Brewers 2

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Johan Santana had his strongest pitching outing of the season, and helped himself with his bat.

Santana (5-4) struck out a season-high 12 in eight innings and had two hits, including a run-scoring single, the Twins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Sunday to salvage the final game of the interleague series.

He struck out eight over his last four innings in winning his third straight after four losses. Santana also had two hits, including the RBI in the second inning. He has three hits in eight at-bats.

“It is a bonus to get a chance to hit in a game like this,” he said. “I was just trying to put the ball in play. It went through a couple times. It was kind of lucky.”

On the mound, Santana said he felt as good as he has all season.

“I was able to hit my spots and use my changeup today,” he said. “They were aggressive with their swings. They are a different ballclub than they were last year. But today, it worked out well for me.”

For Minnesota manager Rod Gardenhire, Santana “was the story” of the game.

“He pretty much did everything for us,” Gardenhire said. “He had all of his pitches working today. And he had his bat working, too. It was a great performance.”

Gardenhire said he considered pulling Santana after the seventh inning, especially with him coming up to bat in the eighth. But, he decided against it after Santana struck out the side in the seventh.

“He had such a strong seventh inning, I decided I couldn’t take him out,” he said. “That’s as good as I’ve seen him for that distance.”

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said Santana was “dynamite.”

“He had a great fastball, a good slider and a good changeup,” he said. “He was coming right after us.”

Gardenhire said the win was important after the Twins lost Saturday’s game despite having a 5-0 lead.

“That’s a good comeback after we let one getaway last night,” he said. “The guys came out today play hard and got a good win for us.”

Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 19th save in 20 chances. Torii Hunter added a two-run double for the Twins.

Milwaukee starter Victor Santos (5-3) had his shortest outing of the season, giving up four runs in just three innings. He had been 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts.

The loss was the fourth straight time the Brewers had a chance to sweep a series, but lost the final game.

“It’s not like we’re playing chump teams,” Brewers outfielder Geoff Jenkins. “You have to give credit to the guys they throw out there. That last day, when they haven’t won the first two games of the series, they do whatever it takes to win.”

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the first on Hunter’s two-run double with two outs.

In the second, Santana drove in Joe Mauer with a single. Luis Rivas later scored on a sacrifice fly by Cristian Guzman to make it 4-0.

The Brewers cut the lead to 4-1 in the third. Craig Counsell lined a triple to right-center that got by a diving Hunter. Twins right fielder Jacque Jones dropped the ball after picking it up at the base of the wall, allowing Counsell to score. Jones was charged with an error.

Junior Spivey’s fifth homer for the Brewers in the eighth inning cut thelead to 4-2.


Ford’s first-inning double extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. Rivas’ second-inning double extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Santos’ 10-inning scoreless streak ended when Minnesota scored twice in the first. … Milwaukee’s Lyle Overbay went 0-for-2 with two walks to end a 16-game hitting streak. … With Sunday’s attendance of 33,752, the Brewers had a total attendance for the three-game series of 99,129, the highest-drawingseries of the season.

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