Santana won his fourth straight start and Cristian Guzman
homered and scored four runs to lead the Minnesota Twins to their
third consecutive victory, 6-3 over the Brewers on Friday night.Santana (6-4) picked up right where he left off after striking
out 12 Brewers on Sunday. He struck out the first four batters he
faced Friday and finished with 10 overall. The left-hander now
leads the American League with 100 strikeouts.Santana gave up four hits and one run in seven innings. In his
past four starts, he has a 1.80 ERA, allowing only six runs in 30
innings with 39 strikeouts and only two walks."He's that good," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "I don't
think you can blame the offense when you're facing a guy like
that."Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 23
opportunities.Santana, who won eight in a row during one stretch last year,
has rediscovered his 2003 form after offseason elbow surgery. He
lost four starts in row prior to his current four-game winning
streak, during which he's regained command of his changeup and his
fastball."I feel much better than I did at the beginning of the
season," Santana said. "I'm able to throw my fastball in and out
for strikes, so I'm able to throw more changeups."Lew Ford drove in Guzman for the Twins' first two runs, with RBI
singles in the first and third innings.Guzman led off the fifth with a single and eventually scored,
then started the seventh with a homer off reliever Dave Burba to
put the Twins up 6-1.Ford had three hits for Minnesota."Guzy did a great job getting on base and getting into scoring
position for me," Ford said. "He really sparked the offense
tonight."The Twins broke the game open and chased Wes Obermueller in the
fifth when Guzman and Doug Mientkiewicz led off with singles, then
Hall threw away Ford's bunt for an error allowing Guzman to score
and Mientkiewicz to advance to third. Corey Koskie's sacrifice fly
brought home Mientkiewicz.Obermueller (3-3) gave up nine hits and five runs, four of them
earned, in 4 1-3 innings for Milwaukee."I didn't have a put-away pitch tonight," he said.Junior Spivey's solo homer in the sixth inning was the only run
off Santana.Milwaukee scored two runs in the eighth off reliever Juan
Rincon, on Spivey's single and Luis Rivas' throwing error.Both benches and bullpens emptied in that inning after Gary
Bennett's hard takeout slide of Guzman on a force play.
Mientkiewicz yelled at Bennett as he was returning to the dugout,
bringing players from both teams onto the field. But no punches
were thrown.Mientkiewicz said after the game that he took exception to
Bennett throwing his arms up near the end of the slide, hitting
Guzman in the ribs."I was just sticking up for my shortstop," Mientkiewicz said.
"I think we all know how important he is. I don't have a problem
with playing hard. (Bennett) played the game right until he threw
his arms up."
The Twins recalled lefty reliever J.C. Romero from Triple-A
Rochester before the game and optioned infielder Alex Prieto to
Rochester. ... Nathan picked up his third save in three games and
has allowed a run in just one of his last 30 appearances. ...
Santana has struck out the side four times against the Brewers in
his past two starts. He did it in the first and fourth Friday. ...
Santana has given up 16 homers, most on the Twins.