"We got the win," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But we took a
beating doing it."
Johan Santana tied a career high with 14 strikeouts, and Jacque
Jones' single in the 13th inning gave the Twins a 4-3 victory.
Lew Ford's hustle turned his base hit off Rafael Betancourt
(1-2) into a one-out double in the 13th. Two batters later, Jones
hit a liner to right and Ford raced around third, beating Casey
Blake's throw to the plate.
Morneau tweaked his left elbow while hitting balls off a tee
before the game and was replaced after going 0-for-2 against
Indians starter Scott Elarton. Morneau was taken for X-rays after
the game and his status is uncertain.
Punto is headed to the disabled list after pulling his right
hamstring while trying to steal second base.
"It'll be awhile for him," Gardenhire said.
Mauer aggravated a groin strain that kept him out last month. He
was removed from the lineup in the 12th inning.
Six of the game's seven runs were scored in the first five
innings. After that, pitching took over, with the Twins managing
just four hits over the final eight innings and the Indians two
over the final nine.
Cleveland got only four hits against Santana, last season's AL
Cy Young Award winner, but scored three runs thanks to homers by
Victor Martinez and Coco Crisp, who was activated from the disabled
list before the game to replace an injured Juan Gonzalez, and a
triple by Ben Broussard.
"He hung two sliders," pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "He
threw the ball very well and did a good job of recognizing what was
working and what wasn't."
Other than those big hits, however, the Indians got nothing
against Santana, who ran his major league-leading strikeout total
to 105. He also struck out 14 on Sept. 19 last year against
J.C. Romero (1-2) earned the win with an inning of scoreless
relief, helping the Twins take two of three from their AL Central
Crisp went 1-for-4 with a solo homer and a sacrifice bunt for
Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP who has missed most of the past
three seasons with injuries, strained his right hamstring in the
first inning of Tuesday's game while trying to beat out a slow
grounder in his first major league at-bat in more than a year.
He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.
Team officials said they were unsure how much time he would
miss. He missed nearly three months with his last hamstring injury.
While not as overpowering as Santana, Elarton was just as sharp.
He allowed just one run and three hits through the first four
innings before Punto's two-run homer in the fifth tied the score at
Elarton scattered five hits over seven innings, allowing just
three runs and striking out three.
"I was in a position to do better than I did," Elarton said.
"That's the disappointing thing."
The Indians jumped on Santana in the first inning when Martinez
hooked a curveball just inside the foul pole in left field for a
1-0 lead. Broussard tripled past a diving Shannon Stewart in left
on the next pitch and scored when Ronnie Belliard lined a single
just past Santana's head.
Santana struck out his next four hitters and retired nine in a
row. He needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side in the second
and yielded just one hit the rest of the way, a homer to Crisp in
the fourth that gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead.
Crisp had a chance to rob Mauer of a solo homer in the first,
but he hit the wall unexpectedly, and the ball glanced off his
"It was right there," Crisp said. "When I reached up, the
baggie hit my shoulder blade and stopped my arm. It was an easy
play. I didn't even have to jump."
It was yet another close ballgame between the teams. In 13
meetings this season, 11 have been decided by three runs or fewer,
including eight one-run games and four that went extra innings.
"Us and the Twins, we've had tough games all year long,"
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "It seems like every game has
The Twins recalled Terry Tiffee from the minors to replace
Punto. ... Minnesota's 18 strikeouts set a club record for an
extra-inning game. ... Broussard had homered in consecutive games.
He went 1-for-5. ... Leadoff hitter Jody Gerut was the only Indians
player that did not strike out against Santana. He was 0-for-5 with
a walk and struck out against Romero in the 13th.