Series: Game 3 of 4

Minnesota leads 2-1 (as of 7/15)

Game 1: Thursday, July 13
Game 2: Friday, July 14
in 10
Game 3: Saturday, July 15
Game 4: Sunday, July 16

Indians 2

(41-49, 18-26 away)

Twins 6

(49-40, 32-11 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 15, 2006

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 010001000 2 6 2
    MIN 20011002 - 6 13 0

    W: J. Santana (10-5)

    L: C. Sabathia (7-5)

    Twins' Santana back in groove, tames Tribe for 10th win

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Johan Santana rebounded from two poor starts by scattering five hits in seven innings and the Minnesota Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians 6-2 Saturday night.

    Elias Says
    Justin Morneau
    Since June 9, which major leaguer is batting .422 with 13 home runs? David Ortiz? No; he's got 15 homers over that span, but he's batting .315. Travis Hafner? 11 homers and .361.

    No, it's Justin Morneau, who kept it up Saturday with three hits including a home run in Minnesota's 6-2 win over Cleveland.

    • For more Elias Says, click here.

    Jason Bartlett and Justin Morneau each had three hits, and Nick Punto added two for the Twins, who have won 15 of 16 at home to improve to 32-11 there.

    Travis Hafner homered for Cleveland, which has lost six of eight.

    Mixing a dominant fastball with a nearly unhittable slider and changeup, Santana (10-5) struck out seven and retired 15 of the first 17 Cleveland hitters.

    Santana, the AL pitcher of the month in May, allowed nine earned runs in 12 2/3 innings in his previous two July starts.

    Cleveland starter C.C Sabathia (7-5) allowed four earned runs and a season-high 13 hits in his league-best fourth complete game this year. The AL's top pitcher in June struck out seven.

    Sabathia and the Indians fell behind 2-0 after just three Minnesota batters but it wasn't really the fault of the big left-hander.

    First baseman Ben Broussard failed to corral Luis Castillo's grounder, and Punto followed with a double into the right field corner. The relay throw to the plate from second baseman Ronnie Belliard was about five feet wide of catcher Victor Martinez, allowing Castillo to score and moving Punto to third base.

    Punto, who played third base and center field on Saturday, has hit in 14 of 15 games. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Redmond. A frustrated Sabathia then hit Michael Cuddyer with an 0-2 pitch.

    Hafner answered in the second inning with his 27th home run.

    Jason Tyner, who had the winning single for the Twins in the 10th inning on Friday, drove home Morneau in the fourth. Morneau, who was 0-for-12 against Sabathia, reached on a bloop double that fell between Broussard, Belliard and right fielder Casey Blake.

    Blake doubled with one out in the fifth for Cleveland, which entered averaging 5.57 runs per game, but Santana fanned Broussard and got Aaron Boone to ground out to end the inning.

    A single by Cuddyer increased Minnesota's lead to 4-1 in the fifth, before a sacrifice fly by Belliard scored Ramon Vazquez in the sixth to cut Cleveland's deficit to 4-2.

    Minnesota added two runs in the eighth on Morneau's 24th homer and Castillo's RBI single.

    Game notes

    Minnesota CF Torii Hunter left the game after two innings with pain in his left foot. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays. Punto then moved from third base to center field, replacing Hunter. ... Hafner's home run extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games. ... Twins 3B Terry Tiffee missed the game to be with his wife, Kelli, who gave birth to twin boys early Saturday in Arkansas. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire gave no timetable for Tiffee's return.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press