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Jon Krawczynski / Associated Press, Published May 09 2012

Santana shuts down Twins

By Jon Krawczynski

AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS – When Erick Aybar came trotting home on a double from Mike Trout that gave the Los Angeles an early lead over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night, Angels starter Ervin Santana raised his hands in the dugout and smiled.

Hard to blame, him. It had been quite a while since he had pitched with a run on the board.

Ervin Santana pitched 7 1-3 innings and got some run support from the Angels offense for the first time in his past six starts in a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Santana (1-6) gave up two runs and six hits and Albert Pujols had two hits and two RBIs for the Angels, who took two of three from the Twins. Trout had two doubles, two RBIs and scored twice and Howie Kendrick added three hits for Los Angeles.

“It was great,” Pujols said. “He’s been pitching the ball well. It’s great to give run support to any of our starting pitchers. As competitive as they are, Ervin knew we scored some runs early, but he kept making his pitches, never lost his focus.”

Carl Pavano (2-3) was knocked out of the game before there was an out in the fifth inning for the Twins, who are an MLB-worst 8-22. He gave up five runs – four earned – and 10 hits.

Josh Willingham hit his sixth homer of the season and also had a double for the Twins, who shook things up after the game by moving struggling starter Francisco Liriano to the bullpen and sending third baseman Danny Valencia to Triple-A Rochester.

“We need to make some changes,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We need some hits. We need some new life in here, the whole package.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Sam Holbrook.

With Pujols struggling mightily in his first season in the American League, the Angels have been shut out seven times this season. Santana is the first pitcher since 1974 to go through five straight starts where his offense was shut out.

Los Angeles Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Trout cf 5 2 3 2 Span cf 4 0 1 0

Callasp 3b 4 2 2 1 Dozier ss 4 0 0 0

Pujols 1b 5 0 2 2 Mauer 1b 3 0 0 0

KMorls dh 4 0 1 0 Wlngh lf 4 1 2 1

TrHntr rf 4 0 0 0 Doumit dh 3 1 1 0

HKndrc 2b 4 1 3 0 Valenci 3b 4 0 0 1

V.Wells lf 4 0 0 0 Komats rf 2 0 0 0

Aybar ss 4 1 2 0 Butera c 3 0 2 0

BoWlsn c 4 0 1 0 Parmel ph 1 0 0 0

JCarrll 2b 3 0 0 0

Totals 38 6 14 5 Totals 31 2 6 2

Los Angeles 003 021 000— 6

Minnesota 000 011 000— 2

E—Mauer (3). DP—Los Angeles 2, Minnesota 3. LOB—Los Angeles 6, Minnesota 7. 2B—Trout 2 (5), Callaspo (1), H.Kendrick (7), Willingham (9). 3B—Doumit (1). HR—Willingham (6). SB—H.Kendrick (3).

IP H R ER BB SO

Los Angeles

E.Santana W,1-6 7Zc 6 2 2 3 1

Frieri Xc 0 0 0 1 2

Walden 1 0 0 0 1 0

Minnesota

Pavano L,2-3 4 10 5 4 0 1

Al.Burnett 2 4 1 1 0 1

Duensing 3 0 0 0 1 0

Pavano pitched to 2 batters in the 5th.

T—2:42. A—31,915 (39,500).