NEW YORK — Jason Kubel and the
Minnesota Twins roughed up former teammate Johan Santana early, and Carl
Pavano produced another fine pitching performance Saturday in a 6-0
victory over the New York Mets.
Pavano (9-6) gave up three hits in his
second consecutive complete game, both of which have come against an NL
East ace. The well-traveled right-hander tossed a four-hitter Sunday to
beat Roy Halladay and the NL champion Phillies 4-1.
Pavano had two hits and a sacrifice at
the plate for Minnesota, which ended a four-game skid. The Twins began
the day a half-game up on Detroit in the AL Central.
It was Pavano's sixth career shutout
and first since June 5, 2009, against the Chicago White Sox.
Santana was given a rude welcome in
his first start against the team he spent his first eight seasons with.
After Britain's Prince Harry threw out the ceremonial first pitch with
some gusto, Santana got a quick out. But Minnesota then scored four runs
on several sharply hit balls.
Joe Mauer, Kubel and Delmon Young all
drove in runs to help hand the Mets just their third loss in 16 games at
Mets fans left with one thing to
cheer: The United States soccer team scored to tie its World Cup game
against Ghana 1-all just after the final pitch. The game was listed on
the out-of-town scoreboard.
Denard Span had an RBI double off
Santana (5-5) in the fourth inning and Kubel homered off Fernando Nieve
in the ninth for the Twins, who improved to 3-5 on their road trip.
Not only did the Twins end their
losing streak, they snapped an uncharacteristic stretch in which they
made errors in each of the four losses with several smart plays behind
They turned two double plays – one a
baserunning blunder by Jeff Francouer in the third after he bunted for
the Mets' first hit. He was caught way off first on a popup to shortstop
Punto started the other double play
when he caught Alex Cora's liner at his feet and then threw to first to
double off Ike Davis, who walked.
Pavano took care of the rest in his
second straight dominant outing. Having flopped mightily in New York
with the Yankees from 2005-08, he looked more like the ace the Bronx
Bombers thought they were giving a $39.95 million contract to. His ninth
win matched his total during four injury-plagued years in New York.
Pavano didn't allow a baserunner to
reach third and only six outs were made in the outfield. He struck out
three, walked one and hit a batter with a pitch in his third complete
game this season.
For Santana, the poor first inning
was the continuation of a turbulent week.
Several days after he lost to the
Yankees on Sunday, reports surfaced that a woman accused Santana of
raping her in Florida last year. The pitcher told Florida police he had
consensual sex with the woman.
The state attorney's office declined
to prosecute the case, citing lack of evidence and inconsistent
Santana, who is married with three
children, said Wednesday that "the case is closed" and said he would not
comment any further.
Santana pitched for the Twins from
2000-07, winning two Cy Young Awards and four division titles. But the
Twins traded him to the Mets as he neared free agency and he signed a
$137.5 million, six-year contract with New York.
Orlando Hudson started the
first-inning rally with a one-out double and Mauer followed with an RBI
single. Michael Cuddyer walked an out later and Kubel drove in Mauer
with a ground-rule double to left. Young followed with another hard-hit
double for two more runs and a 4-0 lead.
Santana allowed at least four runs
for the fourth straight start.
NOTES: Minnesota activated LHP Jose
Mijares from the restricted list. He was in Venezuela for a family
medical emergency. To make roster room, the Twins optioned RHP Jeff
Manship to Triple-A Rochester. … Mets 2B Alex Cora was wearing a U.S.
soccer sweat suit jacket and navy blue jersey in the clubhouse before