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Twins Look To Snap Losing Streak, Take On Santana

For the first time since they traded him in the winter of 2008, the Minnesota Twins will face their former Cy Young winner. On the mound in game two for the New York Mets will be Johan Santana, the now 31-year old lefty from the National League. Providing thoughts and perspective on the day is Dave Hutchinson of The Star Ledger:

...Santana, 31, isn't exactly the same pitcher he was in Minnesota. After going 93-44 with the Twins, he's 34-20 in two-plus seasons with the Mets. He hasn't been nearly as dominant and his velocity is down although he almost willed the Mets into the playoffs in 2008 with several gutsy performances down the stretch while posting a 16-7 mark.

...``I'm happy for them, the way everything has become and the way they were able to keep those guys,'' said Santana, adding he still keeps up with how his former team is doing.

...Roughly a dozen Twins remain on the roster from Santana's time with the club, including Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer. A victory would be sweet, says Santana, but he's not obsessed with getting one. ``I just want to do my job,'' said Santana. ``It's not that I want to beat them. I want to win. It'll be a challenge, but it'll be fun.''

While the attention is on the Santana vs. Twins matchup, and rightfully so, the Twins happen to be sending one of their top pitchers to the mound as well. Carl Pavano, who has gone at least seven innings in ten of his past eleven trips to the mound, will be given the task of stopping the team's losing streak at four games. In his career against the Mets, Pavano has made 20 appearances, going 7-7 with a 3.60 ERA.

Of course, no matter how well Pavano does, it'll take more than just pitching for the Twins to get back on track. For a start, the Twins will need to play with more energy and capitalize with runners in scoring position, something they haven't done well in recent weeks. 

First pitch is at 12:10 CT on FOX Sports North.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.