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Santana sharp in final tune-up, slated to start for Twins on Sunday


Suspended Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana appears to be ready to make his Minnesota debut.

Santana was sharp in his final tune-up at Triple-A Rochester. He tossed eight scoreless innings against Pawtucket, holding the PawSox to five hits, while striking out five.

He threw 99 pitches in his eight shutout innings.

It ends Santana's three-start stint with the Red Wings where the right-hander posted an earned run average of 1.84 in 20 2/3 innings. He was working his way back after serving an 80-game suspension for using a performance-enhancing drug.

Santana's return means the Twins will have to make a decision with one of the team's starting pitchers. Minnesota hasn't announced whose spot in the starting rotation Santana will take, but general manager Terry Ryan has indicated the Twins will not go to a six-man rotation.

That could make Wednesday's start a big one for rookie Trevor May. He has posted a 3.70 ERA in June, but he had a disastrous start against Milwaukee on Friday night, recording just one out, while giving up six runs.

According to the Pioneer Press, Santana is scheduled to make his Twins debut on Sunday in Kansas City.

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