Series: Game 1 of 3

Minnesota leads 1-0 (as of 6/15)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 15
Game 2: Wednesday, June 16
in 11
Game 3: Thursday, June 17

Twins 8

(35-28, 14-14 away)

Expos 2

(20-42, 9-18 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 15, 2004

    Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 310002200 8 9 0
    MON 000000200 2 4 0

    W: J. Santana (4-4)

    L: Z. Day (5-7)

    Santana allows three hits in eight innings

    MONTREAL (AP) -- Johan Santana's pitching shut down the Montreal Expos, and his hitting made Zach Day's latest birthday a forgettable one.

    Santana got his first career RBI and allowed three hits in eight innings, and Torii Hunter homered and drove in three runs to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Montreal Expos 8-2 Tuesday night.

    Johan Santana
    Starting pitcher
    Minnesota Twins
    13 83.2 4-4 23 78 4.84

    Lew Ford also hit a two-run shot for Minnesota, which has won six of eight.

    "Santana was outstanding," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He did what he's done the last couple of times out and it looks like he's found a good rhythm throwing the ball. He got a big base hit and he'll probably want to talk more about that than pitching."

    Santana (4-4), who had his longest outing of the season, hit an RBI single in the second for his third career hit in his first plate appearance of the season.

    "That's kind of a bonus right there," said Santana, who went hitless in his next three at-bats. "It's a great feeling. After that I couldn't hit any more, but at least I tried."

    He retired 18 straight after giving up Brad Wilkerson's double leading off the first.

    Ahead 8-0, Santana hit Wilkerson on the arm with an 0-1 pitch to begin the seventh. Jose Vidro, who lined into a double play following Wilkerson's double, hit a drive over the center-field wall for his fifth homer.

    Grant Balfour finished up with a one-hit ninth.

    Zach Day (5-7) had his shortest career outing on his 26th birthday after pitching his second shutout in his last start. Day allowed four hits and four runs in 1 1-3 innings.

    "Kind of a (bad) birthday," said Day, who two years earlier became the only pitcher to ever win his major league debut on his birthday.

    Montreal lost its fourth in a row after scoring just one run while being swept three straight in Seattle over the weekend.

    Minnesota took a 3-0 lead before Santana had thrown a pitch as Day struggled with wildness in the first.

    Cristian Guzman and Doug Mientkiewicz walked to begin the game. Ford grounded into a force at second before Cory Koskie hit an RBI single.

    Ford and Koskie advanced on Day's wild pitch, and Ford scored to make it 2-0 when Day's next pitch got by catcher Brian Schneider for a passed ball, allowing Koskie to take third.

    Hunter followed with an RBI single to put the Twins up 3-0.

    Santana ended Day's outing when he hit a one-out single in the second to drive in Joe Mauer, who hit a leadoff double.

    "For whatever reason, (Day) just couldn't throw anything in the strike zone," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "He was slow from hitter one, and I don't know why because he was so good the last time out from the first pitch of the game to the last one."

    Hunter hit a towering two-run homer off left-hander Joe Horgan in the sixth to increase the lead to 6-0. Hunter's drive struck a cable, which suspends a speaker from the Olympic Stadium roof about 120 feet above the left-field warning track.

    "I felt like I hit it pretty hard but straight up," Hunter said. "I felt like I had a chance then the left fielder put his glove up and I thought I popped out, but it hit the speaker and it's a homer. I'll take it."

    Ford, who made a sensational leaping catch up against the left-field wall on Nick Johnson's drive to end the fourth, added a two-run homer in the seventh off Jeremy Fikac.

    Game notes

    Santana had gone eight innings five times previously. ... Day's previous shortest outing was two innings in a 15-4 loss to Atlanta July 26.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press