MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rookie Danny Santana drove in five runs, Kyle Gibson pitched seven strong innings and the Minnesota Twins beat the Houston Astros 8-0 Saturday.
Santana, who hit his first major league home run on Friday night, flied out to lead off the first inning. He then got hits in his next four at-bats, raising his batting average to .373.
Santana hit a two-run single in the second, a two-run double in the fourth as the Twins broke it open and an RBI single in the fifth.
Gibson (5-5) scattered three hits and three walks while striking out five, allowing only one runner to reach second base. He was especially effective at keeping the ball on the ground —he induced 12 groundball outs, including the last nine batters he retired.
Scott Feldman (3-4) was chased in the second inning as the Twins jumped to a 3-0 lead.
After a perfect first, Feldman hit Josh Willingham leading off the second. Trevor Plouffe followed with a grounder that third baseman Matt Dominguez misplayed for an error. A walk to Kurt Suzuki loaded the bases with one out, but Feldman appeared to be on the verge of escaping when he struck out Eduardo Escobar.
Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez bobbled Aaron Hicks’ grounder up the middle and a run scored. Santana hit a two-run single to right to put the Twins ahead 3-0, and Feldman got yanked after walking Brian Dozier to load the bases.
Reliever Paul Clemens retired Joe Mauer on a fly ball to end the inning. But Clemens walked five batters in the fourth inning as the Twins scored four more runs.
NOTES: For the second straight day, Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was available only for pinch-hitting duties. Arcia sprained his ankle in a game against the Brewers on Thursday. … The Twins’ promotional giveaway on Saturday was the “Gardy Gnome,” a figurine depicting a gnome-like version of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire kicking a hat. “I told the promotions people, ‘Whatever you want to do, go ahead,’” a slightly sheepish Gardenhire said.