Santana fires shutout, gets big hit in Twins' win over Giants
SAN FRANCISCO—Ervin Santana hit a bases-clearing double in the fourth inning and made the runs hold up with his third shutout of the season in the Minnesota Twins' 4-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game interleague series on Friday night.
Robbie Grossman had three hits and Brian Dozier continued a history of strong interleague play with two hits, including an RBI single, as the Twins beat the Giants for the first time since 2011, snapping a five-game losing streak.
Facing the Giants for the first time in his career, Santana (8-3) allowed just four hits, including a leadoff triple in the third inning to Aaron Hill while the Twins were leading 1-0.
He pitched out of the jam by getting three weakly hit ground balls, then never allowed another baserunner past first base in his 11th career shutout, tying Felix Hernandez for the fourth most among active pitchers.
The Twins set the stage for Santana's offensive heroics when Grossman led off the fourth inning with a single.
After Max Kepler walked, Giants starter Matt Moore got two outs before pitching around Jason Castro, bringing Santana to the plate with the bases loaded and setting the stage for the dramatic blow.
Moore (2-7) was lifted after six innings, having allowed all four Twins runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out three.
Santana (8-3) threw 91 pitches in his shutout. He walked one and struck out five.
Dozier had two hits for the Twins, who improved to 19-8 on the road this season.
The 2-for-4 outing made him 25-for-80 (.313) with 14 RBIs in his last 18 interleague games, with at least one hit in 16 of them.
The Twins evened their interleague record at 2-2 this season with the 192nd win against National League competition in their history.
Hill had the only extra-base hit for the Giants, who have lost eight of their last 11 games.
The Giants fell to 168-169 all time in interleague play.
After the Twins had used three singles to produce the game's first run in the third inning, they put two on with two outs in the fourth before Moore walked No. 8 hitter Jason Castro, bringing Santana to the plate for just the second time this season.
Santana's three-run shot to right center, which came on the first pitch of the at-bat, equaled the number of RBIs he previously accumulated in his career. The long fly ball barely eluded diving Giants center fielder Denard Span, clearing the bases and increasing the Minnesota lead to 4-0.
It also drove Moore's ERA to 9.49 in the fourth inning this season.
NOTES: RHP Ervin Santana's three RBIs were the most for a Minnesota pitcher since RHP Luis Tiant had three against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. Before Santana, the last American League pitcher to have a three-RBI game was Royals RHP Chris Young against the Brewers last June. ... The bases-loaded double was the second of Santana's career. Exactly 10 years earlier, he'd had one for the Los Angeles Angels against the St. Louis Cardinals, driving in two runs. ... Only LHP Clayton Kershaw (15), RHP Bartolo Colon (13) and LHP CC Sabathia (12) have more career shutouts than Santana among active pitchers. ... Twins C Jason Castro and Giants 3B Eduardo Nunez both extended hitting streaks to 11 games. ... The Giants added recently acquired RHP Sam Dyson to the 25-man active roster and demoted OF Orlando Calixte to Triple-A Sacramento.