Series: Game 3 of 4

Kansas City leads 2-1 (as of 7/17)

Game 1: Thursday, July 15
Kansas City3
Game 2: Friday, July 16
Kansas City12
Game 3: Saturday, July 17
Kansas City1
Game 4: Sunday, July 18
in 10
Kansas City4

Twins 4

(48-42, 22-20 away)

Royals 1

(33-55, 21-25 home)

    1:15 PM ET, July 17, 2004

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 000004000 4 6 1
    KC 000000010 1 1 3

    W: J. Santana (8-6)

    L: J. Gobble (5-7)

    S: J. Nathan (24)

    Morneau, Ford homers help end losing skid

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Johan Santana has mastered the Kansas City Royals.

    Eleven days after pitching a three-hit shutout against Kansas City, Santana allowed one hit in eight innings Saturday to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Royals 4-1.

    "He's definitely on top of his game right now," Kansas City's Dee Brown said. "He threw me a 95 mph fastball and it was like it exploded out of his hand. By the time I saw it, it was beyond me."

    Lew Ford and Justin Morneau backed Santana with consecutive home runs, helping the Twins stop a five-game losing streak.

    "I was able to throw my fastball for strikes and throw it in and out, and throw my changeup," Santana said. "This time they knew what was coming sometimes and they were able to take pitches. They made me throw a lot of pitches. Everything works out when you're able to throw your fastball for strikes."

    Santana (8-6) is 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA in his last eight starts. His two losses in this streak were 2-1 to Chicago and 2-0 to Detroit.

    "It's a shame a guy can't go to the All-Star game because we aren't scoring any runs for him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

    Santana struck out nine to raise his league-leading total to 145, walked four and hit a batter. Joe Nathan finished for his 24th save in 25 chances, completing the first one-hitter for the Twins since Scott Erickson's at Boston on July 24, 1992.

    Kansas City had not been one-hit since a trip to Pittsburgh on July 13, 2001.

    "He's a guy who throws three pitches that are above major league average -- a fastball that hits 96, 97 miles an hour, a slider and a changeup," the Royals' Mike Sweeney said. "He can throw all three for strikes any time he wants."

    Angel Berroa's leadoff double in the second inning was Kansas City's only hit.

    "It was a fastball away," Santana said. "I was trying to throw the fastball in there and trying to give him a different look outside. But it just stayed in the middle of the plate."

    Kansas City got an unearned run in the eighth when Alberto Castillo walked, advanced on a wild pitch, continued to third on catcher Henry Blanco's throwing error and scored on David DeJesus' grounder.

    Jimmy Gobble (5-7) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, dropping to 0-3 against the Twins this year and 0-4 in his career.

    Minnesota went ahead in the sixth on doubles by Luis Rivas and Jacque Jones. Ford, in a 1-for-23 skid, hit his 10th homer. Morneau, called up this week to replace the disabled Doug Mientkiewicz, then connected for a 4-0 lead.

    Kansas City squandered a scoring opportunity in the second when Berroa doubled and was sacrificed to third. The Twins pitched out when he started home on an attempted squeeze and he was caught stealing.

    "We knew it wasn't going to take many runs the way Johan was pitching," Ford said.

    Game notes

    The Twins signed OF Ricky Prady, a 29th-round draft pick. ... The Royals activated OF Aaron Guiel off the DL and optioned him to Double-A Wichita. He had been out with blurred vision. ... Twins C Joe Mauer missed his third straight start because of a sore knee. ... The Twins have hit consecutive home runs five times this year.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press