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Cleveland at Minnesota

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Santana shuts down Indians, Morneau finishes 3-for-4

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins mixed good fortune with bad breaks on Saturday night.

Taking advantage of strong pitching of Johan Santana and weak defense by Cleveland, the Twins beat the Indians 6-2.

But the win could be costly for Minnesota, with injuries to outfielders Torii Hunter and Shannon Stewart.

Mixing a dominant fastball with a nearly unhittable changeup, Santana (10-5) struck out seven and retired 15 of the first 17 Cleveland hitters.

Santana, the AL pitcher of the month in May, allowed nine earned runs in 12 2/3 innings in his previous two July starts.

"We came out aggressive," Minnesota catcher Mike Redmond said. "We threw a lot more fastballs and I think it paid off for the first four or five innings. He used his changeup well. To be successful you've got to change your pattern."

Cleveland starter C.C Sabathia (7-5) allowed four earned runs and a season-high 13 hits in his league-best fourth complete game this year. The AL's top pitcher in June struck out seven.

"I had a lot of two-strike counts and had chances to put a lot of hitters away, but they battled and put the bat on the ball," he said.

Hunter, who struck out swinging in the first inning against Sabathia, came out of the game after playing two innings. X-rays were inconclusive and an MRI is expected Sunday.

"He came in and said he couldn't run," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's more on the top of his foot toward the outer part of the little toe. He was hurting. He was close to having tears coming out of his eyes."

Hunter fractured his left ankle last July 30 when he crashed into the wall in Boston, ending his season.

Stewart, who was the designated hitter Saturday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list after reinjuring his left planter fascia. Stewart sat out May 22 to June 29 with a similar injury. An MRI is also expected Sunday.

Minnesota recalled Rondell White from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester. He is expected to arrive in time for Sunday's game.

"We win and lose as a team," Santana said. "We're always behind everybody."

Jason Bartlett and Justin Morneau each had three hits, and Nick Punto and Jason Tyner added two for the Twins, who have won 15 of 16 at home to improve to 32-11 there. Minnesota has won its last 15 home games when Santana pitches.

Travis Hafner homered for Cleveland, which has lost six of eight.

Sabathia and the Indians fell behind 2-0 after just three Minnesota batters but it wasn't really the fault of the big left-hander.

First baseman Ben Broussard failed to corral Luis Castillo's grounder, and Punto followed with a double into the right field corner. The relay throw to the plate from second baseman Ronnie Belliard was about 5 feet wide of catcher Victor Martinez, allowing Castillo to score and moving Punto to third base.

Punto, who started at third base and moved to center field after Hunter's injury, has hit in 14 of 15 games. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Redmond. A frustrated Sabathia then hit Michael Cuddyer with an 0-2 pitch.

"They hit the ball where we weren't quite a bit. Not that they were necessarily squaring it up a great deal, but they found holes and took advantage of opportunities," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

Hafner answered in the second inning with his 27th home run.

Tyner, who had the winning single for the Twins in the 10th inning on Friday, drove home Morneau in the fourth. Morneau, who was 0-for-12 against Sabathia, reached on a bloop double that fell between Broussard, Belliard and right fielder Casey Blake.

"We didn't kill the ball off Sabathia, but we put enough in play and we found enough holes to score when we needed to," Gardenhire said.

Blake doubled with one out in the fifth for Cleveland, which entered averaging 5.57 runs per game, but Santana fanned Broussard and got Aaron Boone to ground out to end the inning.

A single by Cuddyer increased Minnesota's lead to 4-1 in the bottom half of the inning.

The Indians had runners on second and third with nobody out in the sixth, but Santana struck out Jason Michaels. After a sacrifice fly by Belliard scored Ramon Vazquez, Hafner struck out to end the inning.

"That's why he's a good pitcher, because he can get out of jams like that. One big base hit right there and we go on top and it's a different ballgame," Blake said.

Minnesota added two runs in the eighth on Morneau's 24th homer and Castillo's RBI single.


  • Hafner's home run extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
  • Twins 3B Terry Tiffee missed the game to be with his wife, Kelli, who gave birth to twin boys early Saturday in Arkansas. Gardenhire hopes Tiffee will rejoin the team Monday.
  • Minnesota is 18-5 when Morneau has a multi-hit game.
Copyright 2015 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.
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Justin Morneau watches his solo home run in the eighth inning. He also has two other hits in the win.  (AP)
Justin Morneau watches his solo home run in the eighth inning. He also has two other hits in the win. (AP)

Players of the Game

N. Punto
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0

C. Blake
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3010110 .288
Jason Michaels, LF4010012 .264
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3001011 .287
Travis Hafner, DH4111021 .322
Victor Martinez, C4000010 .308
Casey Blake, RF4020010 .306
Ben Broussard, 1B3000022 .321
Aaron Boone, 3B3000012 .249
Ramon Vazquez, SS3110000 .200
2B - Grady Sizemore (27, Santana), Casey Blake (15, Santana)
HR - Travis Hafner (27, Santana)
SF - Ronnie Belliard (2)
RBI - Ronnie Belliard (43), Travis Hafner (76)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Broussard-Vazquez
E - Ronnie Belliard (7, Wild throw), Ben Broussard (6, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia (L,7-5) 81364071 3.59
HBP - Cuddyer (by C.C. Sabathia)
Pitches-Strikes - C.C. Sabathia 115-84
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.C. Sabathia 12-5
Batters Faced - C.C. Sabathia 38
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B5111003 .278
Nick Punto, 3B-CF5221002 .306
Mike Redmond, C3001000 .347
Michael Cuddyer, RF3011010 .265
Justin Morneau, 1B4231011 .304
Torii Hunter, CF1000011 .269
    Luis Rodriguez, 3B3010002 .219
Shannon Stewart, DH3000023 .293
   a- Jason Kubel, PH-DH1000001 .298
Jason Tyner, LF4121010 .444
Jason Bartlett, SS4030010 .310
a-grounded into a double play for Stewart in the 8th
2B - Nick Punto (14, Sabathia), Justin Morneau (18, Sabathia)
HR - Justin Morneau (24, Sabathia)
SF - Mike Redmond (2)
RBI - Luis Castillo (30), Nick Punto (15), Mike Redmond (14), Michael Cuddyer (50), Justin Morneau (75), Jason Tyner (3)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Castillo (17), Jason Tyner (2)
SB - Michael Cuddyer (4, 2nd base off Sabathia/Martinez)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Rodriguez-Castillo-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Johan Santana (W,10-5) 7522071 2.93
Juan Rincon (H,14) 1100100 1.96
Dennys Reyes 1000030 1.52
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 92-70, Juan Rincon 12-7, Dennys Reyes 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 5-9, Juan Rincon 1-1
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 26, Juan Rincon 4, Dennys Reyes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 33904
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Jeff Nelson