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CWS@NYM: Santiago fans eight, holds Mets scoreless

Apparently April showers lead to a potent Minnesota offense.

The Twins' bats have come alive this month, as the club ranks among the American League leaders in runs scored and doubles. Despite getting shut out Sunday against the Orioles, the Twins have scored at least five runs in seven of their last eight games.

"They're staying on the ball and using the field," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have some guys who can hit with some good track records. So hopefully as the weather keeps warming up, we warm up with it."

Minnesota, which opens a three-game series Monday at Target Field with the White Sox, has been led by the usual suspects. Joe Mauer has an 11-game hitting streak (.444) and Justin Morneau is right behind him with an eight-gamer, batting .422 in his last 16 games.

"Joe had his little cold stretch we probably won't see again this year, but is back on fire. And Justin has been staying on the ball really good and putting some really nice swings on it," Gardenhire said. "We know we can score some runs and our offense is starting to click a little bit, and that's fun to watch."

Meanwhile, the White Sox will try to have fun in a stretch of games that will test their mettle away from home.

They are embarking on a seven-game road trip through Minnesota and Anaheim and will end up playing 15 road games out of 18 total.

"Some years I've been on teams that were just better on the road for no particular reason," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "For us, I don't think it makes a difference right now. We just need to win a game, whether it's at home or on the road."

The White Sox will lean on left-hander Hector Santiago in Monday's series opener. Santiago proved in his last outing he can pitch with the best, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out eight while dueling Mets right-hander Matt Harvey.

Santiago is 1-0 in his past two starts, allowing one run and striking out 14 in 12 1/3 innings.

"I guess you know when you are going to throw and you can set the way your days are set up," Santiago said. "Day 1 you can get after it. Day 2 you got your bullpen. Then Day 3 you kind of do your regular thing, and Day 4, it's my shutdown kind of rest day and I'm going out there [Monday] to try to go seven."

White Sox: RISP-y business
• Chicago's recent tear with runners in scoring position was just a matter of time, Ventura said Sunday. The White Sox went only 2-for-10 in those situations on Sunday but overall are 25-for-86 (.291) with runners in scoring position in their last 11 games.

"I think for me, even [Saturday] night, us staying in the middle of the field didn't pan out," Ventura said Sunday. "There was a lot of solid contact through the middle of the field, which is better than just yanking things foul and trying to hit a home run every pitch. Guys are shortening up, staying in the middle of the field, eventually that pays off."

• Right-hander Jesse Crain owns a 13-game scoreless streak spanning 12 1/3 innings.

Twins: Hernandez looks to rebound
• Left-hander Pedro Hernandez turned in his worst-career outing on Wednesday against the Red Sox, lasting only two innings and giving up six runs on eight hits. Hernandez, acquired from the White Sox last July, will be making his first career start against his former team.

• Ryan Doumit has driven in a run in five of his last six games, homering in three.

Worth noting
• White Sox starter Chris Sale's one-hit shutout over the Angels on Sunday made Ventura the 27th manager in White Sox history to win at least 100 games.

• The Twins have won four of their last six games.

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