Santana the stopper can’t stop Rockies

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Ervin Santana has been lights out for the Minnesota Twins so far this season, boasting a 6-1 record and 1.50 ERA in eight starts. He was affectionately becoming known as the stopper for picking up wins following Twins losses, but the Colorado Rockies got the best of Santana in game two of their three-game series at Target Field. Nolan Arenado homered and Mark Reynolds continued to pile up RBIs in a 5-1 final that guarantees a series win for Colorado.

Entering Thursday’s game, Santana had allowed one run or less in seven of his eight starts.  He allowed that many in the first inning when Nolan Arenado launched a ball over the left field wall to give Colorado an early lead. Colorado tacked on three runs in the top of the third inning, including a pair on an RBI single by Reynolds, who is now tied for third in the NL with 35 RBI. Charlie Blackmon had a pair of hits and scored a run to improve his team-high batting average to .323.

On the other side of the ball, rookie German Marquez was outstanding for Colorado. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits and two walks over five innings pitched to level his record at 2-2. Chris Rusin pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, helped out by Adam Ottavino who shut the door with a couple runners on in the seventh inning. After Ottavino allowed a leadoff single in the eighth, Mike Dunn closed out the inning. Dunn worked into a little trouble in the ninth, allowing a pair of Twins to reach base, but Greg Holland came on to close the door and earn his MLB-leading 18th save. It is the second consecutive game in which Holland has earned a save by pitching just 0.1 inning.

The Rockies improve to 26-15 with the win and can sweep the three-game series in the nightcap. Wednesday’s game was postponed because of heavy rain in Minneapolis, so the two teams will attempt complete the series at 5:10 p.m. MDT on Thursday.

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