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Twins, Santana shut down Indians

Twins, Santana shut down Indians
Published On: Fri, May 12
Sep 21, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) catches the ball at first for the out against the Minnesota Twins shortstop Danny Santana (39) at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND -- Nobody was more surprised by the final score than the winning manager.

"You don't expect a 1-0 game in this park, but we'll take it. This is a good win for us," Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Ervin Santana pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball and Miguel Sano's first-inning homer produced the only run as the Twins shut out the Cleveland Indians 1-0 on Friday night at Progressive Field.

Santana (6-1) struck out four, walked five and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter, Minnesota's second shutout of the season. Brandon Kintzler pitched the ninth inning to pick up his ninth save.

Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin (2-4) pitched eight innings and allowed one run and six hits while striking out seven and walking one, but he was tagged with the loss.

"My early mistake cost us the game," Tomlin said of the home run by Sano.

The Twins have won 10 of their last 14 games. The Indians have lost six of their last 10 while scoring three runs or fewer in eight of their last 10.

Sano's homer came with two outs and on a first-pitch fastball that soared over the right field wall.

"I was trying to go away with a fastball, but the ball leaked back over the plate. It was a non-quality pitch, and the way he's swinging the bat, you can't do that," Tomlin said. "It's tough to put our guys in a hole like that against a guy going as good as Santana is."

Santana came into the game having held opposing hitters to a .135 batting average, which was 34 points better than any other pitcher in the American League. So it wasn't a surprise that he held the Indians scoreless.

"He was good for us in the second half of last season, and it's carried over into this year. We have a good feeling when he's on the mound for us," Molitor said.

The closest the Indians came to scoring against Santana was in the third and fifth innings. Santana walked two of the first three batters in the third. But with runners at first and second and one out, Santana got Francisco Lindor to ground out and Michael Brantley to pop out to end the inning.

In the fifth, the Indians again had runners at first and second with one out. Lindor struck out, but Brantley drew a walk, loading the bases with two outs. Santana then retired Edwin Encarnacion on a line drive to center fielder Byron Buxton to end the inning.

The only blemish on Santana's pitching line were the five walks.

"My first-pitch strike wasn't working, but I was still able to get people out," he said. "This is a huge win for us. Especially with the way they have been swinging the bats."

Except for the home run by Sano, Tomlin kept the Twins' lineup in check.

"He's good. He had our guys confused. He preys on over-aggressive swings," Molitor said.

"Josh was tremendous," Francona said. "He doesn't beat himself. Throws strikes. Fields his position. We've seen him have runs like this before, when he's been really good."

Tomlin's only mistake was the one that decided the game, the home run ball to Sano.

"Sano has turned into a good and a dangerous hitter," Francona said.

NOTES: LHP Andrew Miller has pitched 16 2/3 scoreless innings to begin the season. That's the most by an Indians pitcher since Doug Jones pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings to begin the 1990 season. ... Friday's game was the Indians' 13th home game of the season. That's the fewest home games played by any team in the majors. ... Twins 1B Joe Mauer was 1-for-4, and has a career average of .329 vs. the Indians, with 45 doubles, 14 home runs and 77 RBIs in 634 at bats. ... The Twins will recall RHP Jose Berrios from Triple-A Rochester to start Saturday's game. In six starts at Rochester Berrios was 3-0 and was leading the International League with a 1.33 ERA. ... Miguel Sano's home run in the first inning extended the Twins' streak for consecutive games with a home run to 13. That's the longest such streak by the Twins since they hit home runs in 13 consecutive games in 1987. The club record is 16 consecutive games with a home run in 1979.

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