|Santana and Sheets finish what they start|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2007 21:30|
Santana needed only 92 pitches to earn his fourth career shutout and lead the Minnesota Twins to a 9-0 victory over the New York Mets at Shea Stadium on Wednesday night.
The two-time Cy Young award winner's first shutout in nearly two years was about as easy as it gets. the Twins staked him to a 5-0 cushion in the second inning and the Mets managed only four base runners. Santana (7-6) struck out just one, whiffing Paul Lo Duca for the first out in the ninth.
``Johan deserved that, and our offense needed that,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``They were swinging early in the count. Those guys were up there taking their rips against him and that got him deeper and deeper in the game.''
Sheets threw 118 pitches, but was still reaching 95 mph on the radar gun in the ninth inning as he closed out the Milwaukee Brewers' 6-2 victory over the slumping San Francisco Giants ay Miller Park.
The rest of the action around the majors was interleague. It was Detroit 15, Washington 1; Philadelphia 9, Cleveland 6; the Los Angeles Dodgers 10, Toronto 1; Boston 4, Atlanta 0; St. Louis 5, Kansas City 1; Florida 7, the Chicago White Sox 5; the Chicago Cubs 5, Texas 4; Colorado 3, the New York Yankees 1; San Diego 12, Baltimore 6; Pittsburgh 5, Seattle 3; Cincinnati 5, Oakland 2; and Houston 9, the Los Angeles Angels 5.
Like Santana, Sheets (8-3) also got some early runs with the Brewers scoring six against hard-throwing rookie Tim Lincecum (2-2) in the first two innings.
``This is what we expect from Benny, to come out and pitch games like this,'' Brewers manager Ned Yost said. ``You give him a six-run lead and you've got to trust that he's not giving it up, and he's going to get you through this game, and he's going to pitch nine innings. And he did it - perfectly.''
Sheets allowed six hits in his 13th career complete game and held Barry Bonds in check. The Giants' slugger went 0-for-3 with a walk and remained stuck on 748 home runs, seven shy of Hank Aaron's career record.
``When you locate the heater, you feel a lot better about yourself,'' Sheets said. ``I think a fastball located is the hardest pitch to hit.''
Bonds walked in the second and swung ferociously through a third strike in the fourth, spinning 180 degrees after missing the 95 mph fastball.
``That was mislocated, but it was up and out of the strike zone so it was fine,'' Sheets said. ``I'd like to act like I meant to do that.''
The Giants have lost a season-high six straight and 18 of 24.
``There's no one out there happy with what's happening,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``Nobody has to tell us we have to get our act together.
In New York, Santana walked none and retired 15 of his final 16 batters in his sixth career complete game and first since May 17, 2006, at Detroit.
The struggling Mets, who have lost 12 of 15, had as many hits (four) as errors, and starter Jorge Sosa allowed seven runs - five earned - and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.
``When you play sloppy defense, you don't give yourself a chance to win,'' said New York third baseman David Wright, who had two errors. ``With the big lead, (Santana) challenged us, let us hit it to the big part of the ballpark.''
Rockies 3, Yankees 1
At Denver, Josh Fogg (3-5) held the Yankees to four hits over seven innings and out-pitched Mike Mussina (3-4) to win for the first time at Coors Field this season.
Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
Phillies 9, Indians 6
At Cleveland, Philadelphia's Kyle Hendrick earned the win in his first major league start.
Ryan Howard had an RBI single in the first, homered into the second deck in the third off Jason Stanford (1-1) and added a two-run double in the ninth.
Tigers 15, Nationals 1
At Washington, Sean Casey hit his first home run of the season off Jason Simontacchi (4-5), and Detroit tied a season-high with 17 hits to make a winner of Chad Durbin (6-3).
Dodgers 10, Blue Jays 1
At Toronto, Los Angeles' Brad Penny (9-1) became the second nine-game winner in the National League while Dustin McGowan (3-3) allowed six runs in 1 2-3 innings, his shortest career start.
Cardinals 5, Royals 1
At St. Louis, Brad Thompson (5-2) pitched seven sharp innings in place of Kip Wells, who was told three hours before the game that he was being sent to the bullpen.
Chris Duncan's homer off Scott Elarton (2-3) was his third in five games.
Red Sox 4, Braves 0
At Atlanta, Josh Beckett (10-1) pitched six scoreless innings and had a run-scoring double.
David Ortiz homered in the fourth off Tim Hudson (6-5), who lost for the fourth time in his last five decisions.
Marlins 7, White Sox 5
At Chicago, Dan Uggla homered off Matt Thornton (2-3) in the ninth inning, and Florida rebounded after starter Dontrelle Willis was forced to leave with a tight left forearm.
Armando Benitez (1-3) pitched one inning to get the win.
Cubs 5, Rangers 4
At Arlington, Texas, Carlos Marmol (2-0) pitched three perfect innings for the win.
Derrek Lee, in the lineup after appealing his five-game suspension, drove in the deciding run in the sixth inning off Joaquin Benoit (2-2).
Astros 9, Angels 5
At Anaheim, Calif., Carlos Lee homered and drove in four runs, and Jason Jennings (1-1) beat Bartolo Colon (6-3) for his first win in seven starts with the Astros.
Pirates 5, Mariners 3
At Seattle, Tom Gorzelanny (7-4) allowed two runs in seven innings for his first win in more than month. Shawn Chacon struck out two for his first save.
Miguel Batista (7-6) allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Reds 5, Athletics 2
At Oakland, Calif., Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 582nd career home run and 19th of the season to lead Cincinnati to its first regular-season victory in eight games against Oakland.
Homer Bailey (2-0) gave up two hits in seven innings to beat Chad Gaudin (6-2).
Padres 12, Orioles 6
At San Diego, Jake Peavy (9-1) struck out seven in six innings, and Marcus Giles and Khalil Greene both homered off Steve Trachsel (5-5) as San Diego handed Baltimore its ninth straight loss.
Diamondbacks 10, Devil Rays 8, 10 innings
At Phoenix, Chris Young hit a game-ending, two-run homer off Al Reyes (1-1) for Arizona's first win in eight games against its 1998 expansion partners. Brandon Lyon (5-2) pitched the 10th for the Diamondbacks.