Santana extends majors-leading strikeout total to 114

PHOENIX (AP) -- Johan Santana had more trouble convincing Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire to let him finish the game than he did handling the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Santana threw a four-hitter and extended his remarkable road success and major-league strikeout lead in the Twins' 10-0 victory Wednesday night -- but only after standing up to his manager.

"I'm telling my pitching coach, 'Let's get somebody else in the ballgame,'" Gardenhire said. "[Santana] just said, 'No way, I'm finishing this thing.'"

Santana threw 106 pitches and never tired.

"He came back three times, and I said, 'Nope, I'm staying in,'" the left-hander said. "You don't get this kind of chance all the time. I know we were winning by 10 runs, but I felt pretty good."

Jacque Jones homered and drove in three runs, while Shannon Stewart had a solo shot and scored three runs and Joe Mauer and
Juan Castro each had two RBI.

But it was mostly Santana's show as he improved to 15-0 in 17 road starts since losing at Kansas City on May 29, 2004.

Last year's AL Cy Young Award winner allowed only four baserunners, including two singles by Chris Snyder, walked none and basked in applause throughout the game, with the crowd of 23,404 split almost evenly in its loyalty.

Santana (7-2) struck out nine. He has 114 strikeouts, 10 more than the Mets' Pedro Martinez.

His only other shutout was last July 6 against Kansas City.

The complete game was Santana's second this season and third overall. He last finished at Tampa Bay on May 6.

"He comes as advertised," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He's blowing up at 96 at times, and he's got a 20-mph gap with his changeup. He has a pretty good idea what he's doing, and the last couple of years he's just really gotten a lot of confidence."

Santana retired his first seven batters before Snyder lined a single to center in the third.

By that time, the Twins had a 5-0 lead.

Torii Hunter had a leadoff double in the second before Jones took an outside pitch into the left field seats for a two-run homer.

"You go through periods where you're not hitting," Jones said about the 15-hit effort -- one off a season-high. "You're going to go through periods where everybody's hitting. I just know that we scored a lot of runs tonight, we scored a couple [nine] last night and won ourselves some ballgames."

Santana started the next rally against Arizona starter Claudio Vargas (0-4), leading off the third with a single. Stewart singled and Luis Rodriguez bunted his way on to load the bases.

Mauer then sent a grounder through the infield for two runs. Hunter followed with an RBI groundout, beating the throw to first to avoid a double play.

Stewart hit a solo shot in the fifth off Vargas, who went five innings, allowing eight hits and six runs. It was his first start for the Diamondbacks after being acquired off waivers from Washington on Friday.

Castro hit an RBI single in the sixth and a run-scoring double in the eighth, sandwiched around Jones' seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

Pinch-hitter Michael Ryan, batting in Jones' spot, made it 10-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Santana allowed a single to Troy Glaus in the fourth and a two-out single to Snyder in the fifth and then hit a groove, retiring 10 consecutive batters.

"He's a great pitcher with great stuff," Snyder said. "He knows how to pitch. You've just got to be selective and get him early."

Game notes
Santana went 1-for-4 in his first at-bats of the season, giving himself a .300 career average (6-for-20). ... Glaus' single in the fourth was his 800th hit. ... The Twins are 4-1 in interleague play. ... Jones and Hunter have eight-game hitting streaks. ... The 10 runs matched a season best, done twice in April.