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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.