Twins 4, Cleveland 1

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 16, 2006 - 12:06 AM

Johan Santana mastered a pesky blister and the Indians, pitching eight scoreless innings for his 14th victory.

Johan Santana has a blister on his left middle finger that quietly pestered him through a spate of un-Johan-like performances in late July and early August.

He was never awful, of course, but he didn't have his usual second-half brilliance.

Then came Tuesday night, when the Twins were desperate for the Old Johan and there he was, overcoming that blister problem to carry them to a 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians before an announced 34,854 fans at the Metrodome.

"As I told him, that's one of the better games I've seen him pitch," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, as his team moved two games behind Chicago in the American League wild card race.

Cleveland had won six consecutive games, averaging 7.7 runs, but Santana (14-5) held them to three hits over eight shutout innings.

There was no margin for error because Jake Westbrook (9-8) held the Twins to one run until the eighth, when Minnesota broke the game open with three runs.

Joe Mauer had a two-out, run-scoring single in the third inning, and the first two runs in the eighth scored on a two-out single by Michael Cuddyer.

"Trust me, we were happy to get to [Westbrook] because he was nasty," said Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, who added a run-scoring single in the eighth.

With a 4-0 lead, and Santana at 99 pitches, Gardenhire turned to closer Joe Nathan for the ninth.

The Twins haven't had a complete game shutout all season, but this wasn't a case of Gardenhire being overly cautious.

Santana had asked the manager to get the bullpen ready during the eighth inning.

The problem wasn't his golden left arm. It was a blood-dried spot on his fingertip.

"I've been dealing with a blister and a split nail for at least three weeks now," Santana said.

That was a revelation, actually, since Santana had said nothing publicly.

It helped explain Santana's 4.60 ERA over his five previous starts. Again, not terrible. But Santana set the bar awfully high during the past three years, going 30-3 with a 1.90 ERA after the All-Star break.

This time, Santana benefitted from an extra day's rest between starts. Monday's open date gave the blister more time to heal, and it wasn't until the late innings that it started wreaking havoc with his slider again.

Of course, it's tough to know, since Santana notched two strikeouts in his last inning, giving him nine for the night and a major league-best 187 for the season.

Santana has pitched through occasional back spasms and leg cramps, but he said those problems have subsided. The blister, however, could linger until season's end.

"It's going to stay there for a while," he said, staring at the finger. "But the good thing is my nail is growing back, so it's not like before, when I was missing a quarter of my nail. So now it's OK."

And if it stays OK, by his standards, he better make room in his trophy case for a second Cy Young Award.

  • Up next: 7:10 p.m. today vs. Cleveland • Metrodome • FSN

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
MinnesotaP. Hughes (14-8)000
Kansas CityL. Hendriks (1-0)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - C. Lewis 2:40 PM
Seattle - E. Ramirez
Washington - D. Fister 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Boston - J. Kelly 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Stroman
NY Yankees - S. Greene 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close