Santana strikes out 11 as Twins beat Astros 3-2


Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings and Minnesota's three up-and-coming prospects combined to lift the Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Astros in Houston Saturday night.

Santana (4-4) struck out 11, tying a career high, and gave up one run on six hits, the Star Tribune reports. It was just six days ago that Santana faced this same Astros team and struck out 10 batters in that contest.

Manager Paul Molitor put the team's three hot young prospects - Byron Buxton, Aaron Hicks and Eddie Rosario - in the outfield together for the first time, likely because of their defensive skills. But they ended up contributing some offensive punch as well.

Byron Buxton stretched a single into a double to lead off the sixth, advanced on a bunt single by Aaron Hicks and scored on a double-play grounder by Brian Dozier. And Eddie Rosario won the game for the Twins with a triple in the ninth inning that scored two runs, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Twins reliever Kevin Jepsen gave up a solo homer in the ninth inning, and the Astros loaded the bases before Buxton made a diving catch to end the game. It was Jepsen's 11th save, and the Twins 70th win of the season. That matches their total from last year, and they still have four weeks left in the season.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon.

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