Minnesota at Kansas City

W: J. Santana (4-0) L: A. Burgos (0-1)
S: J. Nathan (6)
HR: MIN - None   KC - None

Twins 2, Royals 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Johan Santana is having too much fun to worry about the baseball history he could soon make.

The Minnesota left-hander struck out eight and gave up only five hits through eight cold, blustery innings Tuesday night to beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 for his 17th consecutive victory.

With three more wins, he would tie Roger Clemens' AL record.

"I don't really think about it," said Santana (4-0), the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner. "I think it's good to know you're doing something special. But I don't put that in my mind. I just want to play the game and have fun. Baseball is my passion. That's what I like to do."

This was a win Santana had to work for, with Jose Lima matching him pitch for pitch until the eighth, when Tony Pena went to his bullpen in a move that's sure to bring renewed criticism to the manager of a 5-15 team that has the worst record in the major leagues.

Andrew Cisco relieved Lima and got the last out of the eighth and first of the ninth. Then Pena brought in rookie Ambiorix Burgos (0-1) for his second appearance since being called up from Double-A Wichita.

Matt LeCroy singled. After a throwing error by third baseman Joe McEwing allowed pinch-runner Jason Bartlett to reach third, Lew Ford singled softly over second baseman Tony Graffanino for the go-ahead run.

"It was a terrible throw," McEwing said. "It's a play I've got to make to keep us in a tight game and I didn't make it."

Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances.

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said no one on the team is talking about Santana's amazing streak.

"The only time I hear about it is when you guys ask us about it," he told reporters. "We don't sit around and talk about it. We just say he's unbelievable."

Lima went 7 2/3 innings and gave up five hits and one run, with three walks and four strikeouts.

Lima gave up a walk and three hits in the first, falling behind on Justin Morneau's RBI single. He then settled down and retired 21 of his next 23 batters.

"I'm the kind of guy if you don't get to me in the first three innings then I always settle down and pitch well," he said.

"Today it was like, 'Please, please, let me get out of this first inning.' Then they got a blooper and another blooper. It's tough."

He could not beat Santana, who has not lost in 20 starts since a 2-0 defeat against Detroit last July 11 and seems to be pitching as well as he did during his Cy Young season.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "It's about health. Right now I'm healthy and things come out good. Like I say, if you're healthy everything's going to be fine. I feel pretty good. I feel strong. My arm's fine. My legs are pretty good."

Terrence Long singled off Santana leading off the fifth, took second on an infield out and scored on a single by Matt Diaz, the No. 9 hitter.


The results of an MRI exam on RHP Grant Balfour, on the DL with a right forearm strain, were inconclusive. He will go to Cincinnati for an exploratory arthroscopic procedure. ... Nick Punto made a standout play on Alberto Castillo's grounder to deep shortstop in the fifth. ... All three of the Royals' batters in the sixth popped up to shortstop.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Kansas City

T. Long
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0

J. Santana
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 8

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Lew Ford, LF5011010 .273
Nick Punto, SS-2B4110100 .192
Joe Mauer, C4000103 .305
Justin Morneau, 1B4021000 .391
Torii Hunter, CF3010112 .257
Jacque Jones, RF3010101 .393
Matthew LeCroy, DH4010014 .319
    Jason Bartlett, PR-DH0000000 .250
Michael Cuddyer, 3B3100111 .194
Luis Rivas, 2B3000010 .200
   a- Shannon Stewart, PH1000001 .256
    Juan Castro, PR-SS0000000 .263
a-hit into fielder's choice for Rivas in the 9th
2B - Jacque Jones (6, Lima)
RBI - Lew Ford (10), Justin Morneau (6)
2-OUT RBI - Lew Ford (7), Justin Morneau (3)
Team LOB - 10
E - Michael Cuddyer (5, wild throw), Justin Morneau (1, wild throw)
Minnesota Twins
Johan Santana (W,4-0) 8511180 3.55
Joe Nathan (S,6) 1000010 0.00
IBB - Sweeney by Johan Santana
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 114-77, Joe Nathan 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 6-11
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 31, Joe Nathan 3
Kansas City Royals
Joe McEwing, 3B4010011 .417
Tony Graffanino, 2B4000022 .226
Mike Sweeney, DH3000100 .296
Eli Marrero, 1B4020002 .156
Angel Berroa, SS4000012 .218
Emil Brown, RF3000012 .173
   a- Matt Stairs, PH1000000 .268
Terrence Long, CF4110021 .259
Alberto Castillo, C3000020 .235
Matt Diaz, LF3011000 .167
a-lined out for E. Brown in the 9th
2B - Eli Marrero (2, Santana)
RBI - Matt Diaz (1)
CS - Matt Diaz (1, 2nd base by Santana/Mauer)
Team LOB - 6
E - Joe McEwing (3, wild throw)
Kansas City Royals
Jose Lima 7.2511340 6.08
Andy Sisco 0.2000010 1.23
Ambiorix Burgos (L,0-1) 0.2211200 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Lima 117-78, Andy Sisco 8-6, Ambiorix Burgos 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Lima 8-11, Andy Sisco 1-0, Ambiorix Burgos 2-0
Batters Faced - Jose Lima 31, Andy Sisco 2, Ambiorix Burgos 6
Game Information
Attendance - 10133
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jerry Layne