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.

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

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

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

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.