BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA

Santana takes the fifth


There are certain things that baseball fans have been able to count on every season. One would be Johan Santana being a dominating starting pitcher. In 2007, however, that's not the case. Santana lost again Sunday, suffering his fifth defeat of the season, as the Twins fell to the Athletics 4-2.

Santana's strength isn't necessarily pitching in the early part of the season. He tends to get better as the year goes on, but the Twins are going to need him to be a lot better if they expect to hang around in the highly-competitive AL Central.

SANTANA: AFTER HIS FIFTH LOSS OF THE SEASON
YEAR DATE OF FIFTH LOSS W-L
2007 June 3 ?
2006 July 9 10-1
2005 July 6 9-2
2004 July 1 14-1

FORWARD THINKING: MONDAY
Barry Zito
Zito
Giants at Phillies, 1:05 ET: Barry Zito (5-5, 4.21) blanked the Mets for seven innings in his last start, striking out seven and walking just one. Jon Lieber (2-3, 3.86) allowed 13 hits and five runs in his previous outing, an 11-5 loss to Arizona.

Yankees at White Sox, 7:05 ET (ESPN): This should have been Roger Clemens' start, but the Rocket's groin injury keeps Matt DeSalvo (1-2, 5.40) in the rotation for another turn. Chicago's Jon Garland (3-3, 3.91) has allowed 10 earned runs in his past two starts.

Felix Hernandez
Hernandez
Orioles at Mariners, 10:05 ET: Erik Bedard threw eight scoreless innings in his last outing. He has walked at least two batters in 10 of 11 starts. Felix Hernandez (3-3, 4.10) is 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA since returning from the disabled list.

• Monday's complete list of probable starters

NEWS AND NOTES
Roger Clemens will have tests on his ailing groin Monday, and the Yankees hope he can make his first start of the season next weekend. Manager Joe Torre said Sunday that Clemens could pitch Saturday against the Pirates. Clemens will have an MRI on Monday.

• Dodgers closer Takashi Saito was pulled from the ninth inning of Sunday's game in Pittsburgh with a tight left hamstring, but the problem is not believed to be serious.

• The Tigers released reliever Jose Mesa after their 7-2 victory over the Indians on Sunday. Mesa, signed as a free agent in December, went 1-1 with a 12.34 ERA in 16 appearances for Detroit.

• Blue Jays 1B Lyle Overbay broke a bone in his hand Saturday when he was hit by a pitch from White Sox LHP John Danks. Overbay is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

SUSPENSION JUSTIFIED?
Baseball Tonight debates Sweet Lou's tirade.

IN THE ZONE
Albert Pujols A patient Albert Pujols homered twice Sunday against the Astros, and he nearly had two more. After flying out twice to deep center field early in the contest, Pujols hit homers in the eighth and 10th frames of the Cards extra-inning win.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
AP Photo/John Froschauer
A leaping Ichiro Suzuki can't keep this fly ball, off the bat of the Rangers' Mark Teixeira, in the park.
NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES
GOOD
Victor Diaz Part-time OF Victor Diaz went 2-for-4 with two homers, driving in five of the Rangers' six runs in a loss at Seattle.
BAD
Chris Ray Orioles closer Chris Ray allowed a leadoff single to Chone Figgins in the ninth inning, then gave up a home run to Vladimir Guerrero to blow a win for starter Jeremy Guthrie.
UGLY
Jeremy Sowers The Indians' Jeremy Sowers was roughed up by the Tigers for five runs on seven hits in four innings. The 24-year-old left-hander falls to 1-6 with a 6.63 ERA.


 

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