MINNEAPOLIS — Johan Santana is rolling, and so are the Minnesota Twins. Santana struck out 10 in seven innings and the Twins hit three home runs in a 10-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Justin Morneau, Tony Batista and Joe Mauer homered for the Twins, who have won three straight and five of six as they try and climb out of a big hole left by a 9-15 April.
Every time Santana (4-3) takes the mound these days, the Twins have a chance. He scattered five hits and struck out at least one batter in all seven of his innings to win his fourth straight start.
Jon Garland (2-2) was shaky for the White Sox, giving up seven runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings, proving no match for Santana, who has been simply outstanding in May.
The Venezuelan left-hander reached double-digit strikeouts for the third time in four starts and 26th of his career. He has allowed just four runs in three starts this month.
In each of those starts, Santana has seemed to give his hitters just a little more confidence at the plate, and it has showed in the results.
Starting the evening 8½ games behind the defending World Series champs in the AL Central, the Twins need all the help they can get.
A disastrous April included a three-game sweep at the hands of the Sox in Chicago in which they were outscored 23-6. Even more trouble followed with a three-game sweep in Detroit where the final tally was 33-1.