MINNEAPOLIS >> Ervin Santana received a standing ovation from many Twins fans when he was pulled from the game in the top of the eighth inning today. He waved his glove in appreciation.
It’s a good vibe he hadn’t experienced in some time.
Santana gave up six hits in 7 1/3 innings to earn his first victory since May 14 and Minnesota beat the New York Yankees 7-4 to avoid a four-game sweep.
“Feels great; it was a good battle,” he said with a big smile. “I just kept the ball down for the most part.”
Eduardo Escobar’s two-run triple keyed a four-run sixth inning as the Twins snapped a five-game losing streak. Max Kepler and Brian Dozier homered and Brandon Kintzler got the final four outs for his second save in as many chances.
Brain McCann homered twice and Alex Rodriguez had an RBI single for the Yankees. Nathan Eovaldi (6-4) lost his second straight start.
Santana (2-7) looked nothing like the pitcher that was 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in his last five starts. He struck out four and did not walk anyone for a career-best third straight game. New York did not send more than four men to the plate in any of Santana’s seven full innings.
“The way they’ve been hitting the ball, they’re hot right now,” Santana said. “To come today and throw a game like that is huge.”
New York has scored 30 runs in its past six games.
Aided by two Minnesota errors, the Yankees scored once in the eighth before Kintzler struck out Rodriguez with runners at the corners.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Dozier and Trevor Plouffe singled to begin a stretch of five straight Minnesota hits. Both scored on Escobar’s broken-bat triple with the ball just getting over a leaping Ike Davis at first base and slowly rolling down the line. Plouffe was initially ruled out at home on the throw from right-fielder Carlos Beltran, but video replay showed he scored just before McCann tagged him.
Reliever Dellin Betances was met with an RBI single by Kepler, who then stole his first career base and scored on a double by Kurt Suzuki. Kepler finished with three hits.
“You always want to add runs no matter who you’re playing, especially the Yankees,” Suzuki said.
Eovaldi had a six-game winning streak and nine-game unbeaten streak snapped in 13-10 loss Tuesday in Colorado when he allowed six earned runs and eight hits in four innings. He bounced back beautifully early.
After a pair of first-inning walks, the right-hander retired 11 of 12 batters before Kepler led off the fifth with a line-drive home run to the flower bed in front the first row of right-field seats to get the Twins to 2-1.
“Bad luck, to me,” said manager Joe Girardi. “Two jam shots, a little seeing-eye ground ball. I think they hit one ball hard in that inning: that was the ball Suzuki hit. That’s baseball, and they got four runs. I thought his stuff was better today.”
McCann snapped an 0-for-15 slide with a second-inning home run for a 1-0 lead and Rodriguez had a bloop single in the fourth to score Brett Gardner. McCann also homered in the ninth.
Yankees: 1B Mark Teixeira (cartilage tear in his right knee) is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday. Manager Joe Girardi expects Teixeira to play three games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, take Friday off and return to the Yankees on Saturday.
Twins: RHP Trevor May (lower back spasms) was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday, but after some mechanical work Saturday he won’t throw until Tuesday. . RF/DH Miguel Sano (left hamstring strain) is scheduled for a more extensive workout Monday. Molitor said Sano’s swing is fine, but is concerned his running isn’t where it needs to be.
Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (5-4, 4.77) takes the hill Tuesday against Colorado’s RHP Chad Bettis (5-5, 5.63). Nova has won two of three June starts despite allowing 13 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (2-6, 5.56) is scheduled to start when the Twins open a three-game home series with Philadelphia on Tuesday. Duffey is 1-4 in his last six starts, giving up at last four earned runs each time. Aaron Nola (5-6, 3.51) is to start for the Phillies.