SAN FRANCISCO -AP- The Minnesota Twins have come to expect dominant pitching from Ervin Santana. His contributions with the bat on the other hand were a pleasant surprise.
Santana pitched a four-hitter for his third shutout of the season and hit a three-run double in another stellar bounce-back start, leading the Twins to a 4-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
Santana dominates Giants with bat, arm in 4-0 Twins win
"For a guy to come through in that situation, it's a lot of excitement on the bench to say the least," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Santana's hit that broke the game open. "He knows enough to try to put the ball in play and not overswing. If you somehow put it in play, something good might happen."
It was a good night all around for Santana (8-3), who recovered from a seven-run shelling last Saturday against the Angels to shut down the Giants in an efficient 91-pitch outing. He struck out five, walked one and started 26 of the 31 batters he faced with first-pitch strikes.
"I felt comfortable, threw a lot of strikes and kept the ball down for the most part," he said. "Location was good. Just first-pitch strikes the whole game."
Santana has allowed at least five runs in three starts this season and followed all of them with scoreless outings, including two game shutouts.
Matt Moore (2-7) allowed four runs in six innings to extend his winless streak to five starts. The Giants have lost eight of 11 overall and have just three wins in Moore's 13 starts this season.
San Francisco barely even threatened against Santana other than getting a leadoff triple from Aaron Hill in the third. But Santana recovered to get Austin Slater on a groundout to first, Moore on a tapper in front of the plate and Denard Span on a groundout to end the inning.
"He just didn't pitch to heart of the plate at all," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He made it look easy. We had one legit hit off him. He was good. When a pitcher is that good, he just makes you look flat. We just couldn't get anything going."
The Twins then broke it open in the fourth thanks to Santana's bat. With runners on first and second and two outs, Moore walked No. 8 hitter Jason Castro to load the bases. Santana followed with a fly ball to right center that fell just out of reach of a diving Span to clear the bases and put Minnesota up 4-0.
"He's a great pitcher but I know he's not a very good hitter and we got burned an AL pitcher," Bochy said. "They don't take BP or anything. I'm sure Matty just went after him. He got the barrel to it."

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