6/9: Twins defeat Giants Behind Santana’s Solid Pitching and Three-Run Double

The Minnesota Twins defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Friday night in the first game of the three-game series. Ervin Santana led the way for the Twins, as he pitched his third shutout of the season. In addition to his solid pitching, he hit a three-run double to help improve his record to 8-3 on the year.

Santana has more complete games this season (three) than any other team has. Only six MLB teams have two complete games this season.

“I was just trying to make good contact. I was thinking double when the ball left my bat,” Santana told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Santana’s just missed becoming the first Twins pitcher to hit a home run in 45 years. His deep fly ball was 50 feet short of accomplishing something very unpredictable. Although he didn’t hit the monster home run, Santana became the first pitcher to drive in three runs in a game since 1970 for the Twins.

“Fastball swinging, that was it. My goal was to make good contact and just see what happens,” Santana told the Star Tribune.

San Francisco didn’t produce much offense, but a leadoff triple from Aaron Hill in the third had the Giants threatening. Santana helped pitched his way out of the inning while not allowing a go-ahead run.

Brian Dozier started the offense for the Twins while driving in Byron Buxton to help the Twins get an early 1-0 lead. Former Twins outfielder Denard Span just missed thwarting Santana’s efforts with a diving catch, but the ball kicked off his glove and past right fielder Hunter Pence to allow the pitcher to scoot into second and clear the bases.

For what it’s worth, Span was playing fairly shallow with the pitcher at the plate.

“I’m a pitcher. I would probably do the same thing,” Santana told the St. Paul Pioneer Press with a smile.

The Twins look to continue their two-game road winning streak against the Giants on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series.

– Scott Jordahl

[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]

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