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Keeping things lively.

Posted at 11:07 PM on May 23, 2006 by Josh Lee

It's not that watching Johan Santana strike out batter after batter isn't fun, not at all. But after a while, the rhythmic sounds of whiffing bats and balls smacking into catchers' mitts can have a hypnotic effect, and while it feels kind of nice to be lulled to sleep by dominant pitching, it makes it little hard to stay awake and root for your team. So to mix things up a bit and keep the fans on their toes, Santana decided that instead of pitching excellently against Cleveland, he would only pitch pretty nicely, racking up a mere five strikeouts in seven innings for a no-decision.

Luckily for the Twins, Santana isn't the only dominant pitcher on their staff, even if it often seems that way. Joe Nathan came on in a non-save situation and struck out five batters in two innings to protect a 5-5 tie, which was broken in the 10th when Justin Morneau sacrificed Torii Hunter in for the win.

Along the way, Michael Cuddyer had two hits, one of them a two-run homer in the 3rd. Is it safe to say that he's settled into the starting lineup, or is he still stuck in the no-man's-land of batters who have yet to prove themselves and are liable to get on Gardy's bad side with no warning? (Speaking of which, Jason Kubel pinch hit in his return to the majors, and struck out against Rafael Betancourt.)

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