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Last year, Johan Santana only lost six games while putting together his first Cy Young season. This season he has already lost four despite a 3.78 ERA. On Saturday, he took the ball against the Milwaukee Brewers on the road trying to snap the Twins' two-game losing streak. While he got the run support, (the Twins opened up the game with a three-run first thanks to home runs by Torii Hunter and Shannon Stewart), he couldn't nail down the win.
In five innings of work, the southpaw gave up six earned runs while striking out seven. A walk to Wes Helms and a single by Chris Magruder chased Santana in the sixth, leaving with a 5-4 lead but two runners on.
Jesse Crain, who has been almost unhittable all year, could not close the door on the inning and let up Prince Fielder's first Major League home run to score Helms and Magruder. The shot gave the Brewers a 6-5 lead, one which they would never relinquish.
Another run in the sixth would increase the lead to 7-5, making Joe Mauer's RBI groundout in the seventh irrelevant.
Derrick Turnbow would work the ninth for his 14th save, working a perfect ninth to preserve the victory.
The loss sealed the Twins' fifth straight series loss and with 10 losses in the last 14 games, the Twins find themselves losing more and more ground on Chicago.
Twice Is Nice:Torri Hunter hit a two-run home run in the first inning and blasted a solo shot in the fourth for his 13th and 14th home runs of the year. The home runs gave him three in his last two games, and four in his last nine.
Congratulations Shannon:Shannon Stewart's solo home run to open the game was his 100th of his career. After hitting 11 home runs in 92 games last season, the left fielder already has 10 this year. He is on pace to eclipse his career high of 21 set in 2000 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
To Crain Is Human:In his first 35 appearances this season, Jesse Crain has been lights out for the Twins. Coming into Saturday's tilt with a 0.83 ERA, Crain let up an earned run for the second straight day upping his ERA to 1.04. The 24-year old righthander is 9-0 in his career with a 1.46 ERA.
Never To Late To Produce:Glenn Williams, a 27-year old rookie with no Major League experience, is thriving since his call-up two weeks ago. All he has done in the 10 games he has been with the big club is bat .400 during his 10-game hitting streak. He has destroyed left-handed pitching, batting .500 in 12 at-bats so far this season.
On Deck:The Twins try to salvage one game this series as they play the finale in Milwaukee on Sunday. In the last interleague game of the season, Minnesota send Kyle Lohse (5-6, 4.95 ERA) to the mound against Brewers starter Victor Santos (2-7, 2.94 ERA). Lohse has lost his last four starts, dating back to June 3rd, and desperately needs a win to get his record back to .500. First pitch is at 1:05 CT.