Minnesota at Chicago

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Santana outduels Contreras, Twins pull within game of ChiSox

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- The way Johan Santana sees it, this is how it's going to be the rest of the season -- the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox locked in step.

At the moment, they're teams headed in different directions.

Santana outpitched Jose Contreras, and Jason Bartlett hit a three-run homer as the surging Twins pulled within a game of slumping Chicago with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.

"That's the way it's going to be," Santana said. "We're going after each other pretty good. Unfortunately for both teams we're in the wrong division. At the same time, that's what made this game so interesting."

The Twins have won 33 of their last 41, while the White Sox suffered their 11th loss in 14 games. Chicago is 7½ games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central, and the Twins are another game out in third. And the White Sox lead the New York Yankees by one-half game in the wild-card race, with Minnesota right behind.

Bartlett broke a 1-1 tie when he hit his first homer of the season with one out in the seventh. Chicago's Joe Crede hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-3.

Santana (12-5) allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out six and walking none. He is 8-1 in his last 10 starts against the White Sox.

Contreras (9-3) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings, taking his third straight loss after winning a franchise record 17 straight regular-season decisions.

"I knew on a night like tonight I had to be perfect," Contreras said through an interpreter. "Either of us who made a mistake -- (the other team) was going to capitalize on it. In the seventh inning in a tight ballgame, I was the one that made the first mistake, and that's why they got the upper hand."

Joe Nathan put two runners on with one out in the ninth but got the last two outs for his 20th save in 21 opportunities. Michael Cuddyer robbed A.J. Pierzynski of the potential game-tying single with a diving catch in right before Alex Cintron grounded out to end the game.

"One thing about the Minnesota Twins," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, "that's what they are right there: great pitching, clutch hitting and great defense. And I think that's the reason those guys have had success for so many years."

The winning rally started when Rondell White singled up the middle and Jason Tyner reached on a bunt single in front of the mound -- barely beating Contreras' throw. Bartlett then gave the Twins a three-run lead when he homered to left.

"The last guy I thought was going to hit a home run on the ballclub did," Guillen said.

Bartlett was surprised, too. He had not gone deep since last Sept. 13, against Detroit.

This one came on a hanging slider -- one that Bartlett got under a little bit. Although he made solid contact, he said he thought the ball would be caught.

Chicago's Jim Thome his a solo homer in the first -- the 463rd of his career and 33rd this season.

The Twins' Jason Kubel led off the second with his eighth home run to tie it 1-1.

"We always knew we are a good team," Nathan said. "We never lost sight of that."


  • Minnesota's Nick Punto extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 with a single in the first.
  • Twins CF Torii Hunter will likely be back in the lineup on Monday against Texas. Hunter, who has missed 10 games with a stress fracture is eligible to come off DL on Monday.
  • C Joe Mauer will be the DH Wednesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
  • Twins OF Lew Ford, on the DL with a strained oblique muscle, will likely begin batting practice on Friday.
  • White Sox backup C Sandy Alomar Jr. started his first game since being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
  • Chicago's Pablo Ozuna ended an 0-for-17 skid when he doubled in the third.
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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Jason Bartlett hits a three-run home run in the seventh to give the Twins the lead for good.  (AP)
Jason Bartlett hits a three-run home run in the seventh to give the Twins the lead for good. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Thome
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Bartlett
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B5010002 .277
Nick Punto, 3B4010020 .318
Joe Mauer, C4000002 .375
Michael Cuddyer, RF3000122 .270
Justin Morneau, 1B4010003 .309
Jason Kubel, DH4111021 .281
Rondell White, LF4110010 .216
Jason Tyner, CF3120100 .391
Jason Bartlett, SS4123001 .322
HR - Jason Kubel (8, Contreras), Jason Bartlett (1, Contreras)
RBI - Jason Kubel (25), Jason Bartlett 3 (14)
SB - Luis Castillo (12, 2nd base off Contreras/S. Alomar), Nick Punto (11, 2nd base off Contreras/S. Alomar)
CS - Jason Tyner (1, 2nd base by Contreras/S. Alomar)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Michael Cuddyer 1
Minnesota Twins
Johan Santana (W,12-5) 7733062 3.04
Juan Rincon (H,18) 1000000 1.99
Joe Nathan (S,20) 1100110 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 106-73, Juan Rincon 14-9, Joe Nathan 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 10-4, Juan Rincon 3-0, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 27, Juan Rincon 3, Joe Nathan 5
Chicago White Sox
Pablo Ozuna, LF3010010 .364
   a- Scott Podsednik, PH-LF1000000 .272
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4010001 .289
Jim Thome, DH4121002 .292
Paul Konerko, 1B4000031 .298
Jermaine Dye, RF3110110 .316
Joe Crede, 3B4122000 .296
Juan Uribe, SS3010010 .245
   b- A.J. Pierzynski, PH1000002 .302
Sandy Alomar Jr., C3000001 .308
   c- Alex Cintron, PH1000002 .280
Brian Anderson, CF3000010 .208
a-grounded out for Ozuna in the 8th
b-flied out for Uribe in the 9th
c-grounded out for S. Alomar in the 9th
2B - Pablo Ozuna (6, Santana), Juan Uribe (16, Santana)
HR - Jim Thome (33, Santana), Joe Crede (21, Santana)
RBI - Jim Thome (82), Joe Crede 2 (66)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Thome (22)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Iguchi-Konerko-Uribe
E - Juan Uribe (7, Wild throw)
Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras (L,9-3) 7744252 3.52
Matt Thornton 1100020 3.31
Mike MacDougal 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Contreras 103-61, Matt Thornton 17-13, Mike MacDougal 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Contreras 9-6, Matt Thornton 1-0, Mike MacDougal 3-0
Batters Faced - Jose Contreras 29, Matt Thornton 4, Mike MacDougal 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36984
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Laz Diaz