Minnesota (47-42) at Kansas City (33-54)

Rain Currently: Kansas City, MO, US
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 1:15 pm EDT Sat Jul 17, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Only a lack of run support has slowed down Minnesota’s Johan Santana.

Santana will try to give the slumping Twins a lift when they continue their four-game series with the Kansas City Royals.

Santana has been outstanding the last five weeks, going 5-2 with a 1.64 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 55 innings. He has lowered his overall ERA from 5.11 to 3.78 in that span, pitching at least seven innings in each of his last seven starts dating to June 9.

However, Santana could be 7-0 during his run because the Twins have managed a combined one run in his two losses.

“That’s the way this game is,” Santana said of his recent lack of run support. “In this game, you have to have a lot of luck.”

Santana struck out 11 in eight innings and allowed just two runs, two hits and two walks in a 2-0 loss to Detroit on Sunday. Two starts ago against the Chicago White Sox, he gave up three hits, including a first-inning two-run homer, and lost 2-1.

The 25-year-old left-hander has reached double digits in strikeouts in five straight starts and six of his last seven. He leads the AL with 136.

The soft-hitting Twins have managed just nine runs during their season-high five-game losing streak, meaning extra pressure will be on Santana to keep the game close.

Dee Brown hit a grand slam and Desi Relaford added a two-run shot to power Kansas City past Minnesota 12-3 on Friday.

The Royals have won four of five since the eight-game losing streak which followed the trade of All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran to Houston.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Santana TOR vs. J. Gobble COL
20-6 Record 9-8
2.61 ERA 5.35
265 K 49
54 BB 43
0.92 WHIP 1.35