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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ervin Santana gave up eight more hits against Minnesota than he did in his previous start. Not such a bad thing, really.
Coming off his no-hitter last week at Cleveland, Santana went the distance Tuesday night and led the Los Angeles Angels over the Twins 5-1.
Santana became the first pitcher in the majors to follow a no-hitter with a complete-game victory since Tommy Greene did it with Philadelphia in May 1991.
“I feel happy about it, but it’s part of the job,” Santana said. “I’ve been working hard, and that’s how I get the results. It’s not easy. You just go out there and compete, and whatever happens, happens. Every time I got behind in the count, they didn’t make the adjustment. And that was the great thing because they were swinging. They’ve very aggressive.”
Torii Hunter and rookie Mark Trumbo homered to back Santana (7-8).
There was no no-hit drama for Santana this time.
After pitching the first solo no-hitter for the Angels since 1984 on Wednesday, Santana gave up a leadoff single in the second inning to Jason Kubel. Johnny Vander Meer remains the only pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters in major league history. He did it in 1938 for Cincinnati.
Santana struck out six and walked two in his 193rd career start, posting consecutive complete games for the first time in the big leagues. He tied a season high with 121 pitches and worked with runners on base in every inning but the seventh.
“It was a tough night offensively,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We faced a pretty good pitcher. We knew what he’d done the last time out, and he was pretty good again. We tried to make him work early in the game, but he used his breaking ball and made pitches when he had to. He looks pretty confident right now — and coming off a no-hitter, I’m sure he would.”
Santana escaped a jam in the sixth with he struck out Jim Thome and Danny Valencia with runners at first and second.
“Santana knew what he was doing. He had a good snapper going tonight, and he used that quite a bit,” Gardenhire.
The closest any Angels pitcher ever came to back-to-back no-hitters was on July 19, 1973, against Baltimore, when Nolan Ryan plunked Brooks Robinson leading off the eighth and Mark Belanger followed with a single.
Brian Duensing (8-9) gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings. The left-hander’s only other career start against the Angels was on Aug. 20, 2010, when he held them to one run over eight innings in a 7-2 win.
Trumbo’s 20th homer made him the sixth rookie in Angels history to reach that figure and the first since Tim Salmon, who set a club record for rookies with 31 in 1993. The 25-year-old first baseman snapped a 1-1 tie in the fourth with a three-run shot, driving an 0-2 pitch an estimated 450 feet into the rock pile in left-center after a leadoff walk to Vernon Wells and a double by Howie Kendrick.
“That was a bad walk. It wasn’t like I was even close,” Duensing said. “Even that 3-0 pitch I didn’t think that was a strike, but he gave it to me. Walks will kill you, especially leadoff walks. I didn’t execute very well. Every time I thought I threw a good pitch that was down, they took it for a ball or a strike, and every time I left the ball up they were able to take advantage.”
Hunter made it 5-1 in the fifth with his 14th of the season and his fourth career homer against the Twins, the team he spent his first 10 big league seasons with before signing a five-year, $90 million free agent contract with the Angels in November 2007.
Peter Bourjos led off the Angels’ third with a double and scored the game’s first run when Bobby Abreu grounded out. The Twins tied it in the fourth when Michael Cuddyer led off with a double and came home on a groundout by Thome, whose 1,653rd career RBI broke a tie with Tony Perez for 27th place all-time.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia served an automatic one-game suspension he received from Major League Baseball as a result of ace right-hander Jered Weaver’s actions on Sunday in Detroit. Weaver, upset at the way Carlos Guillen showboated on the way to first base on his home run, threw his next pitch over the head of the Tigers’ next hitter — Alex Avila — and was ejected.
Weaver received a six-game suspension, which he is appealing.
NOTES: A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by newly inducted Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, who pitched for the Twins and Angels, and threw a no-hitter against the Angels in 1977 at Anaheim while with the Texas Rangers. … Vander Meer’s no-hitters came during a stretch of eight starts in which he went 8-0 with seven complete games and a 1.38 ERA. … Santana has not allowed a home run in his last six starts, after giving up 13 over his previous 10 outings. … Of the 26 pitchers who have thrown more than one no-hitter in the majors, five of them had two in the same year. In addition to Vander Meer, Allie Reynolds accomplished the feat with the 1951 Yankees, Virgil Trucks with the 1952 Tigers, Nolan Ryan with the 1973 Angels and Roy Halladay with the 2010 Phillies. Halladay had one in the regular season and another in the playoffs. … When Reynolds pitched his two no-hitters in ’51, he made 11 starts in-between. Ryan had 13 starts between his no-nos in ’73 and Trucks 17 starts between his two gems in ’52. … Of the nine pitchers to throw a complete-game no-hitter for the Angels, two did it in their final start of the season — Ryan in 1974 against Minnesota at the Big A, and Mike Witt, who had a perfect game at Texas in the 1984 season finale.
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