E. Santana struggles in Target Field debut

E. Santana struggles in Target Field debut

MINNEAPOLIS -- Lost in the shuffle of the Twins' epic 8-6 walk-off victory over the Tigers on Friday night, won on a three-run homer by Brian Dozier, was a subpar outing from right-hander Ervin Santana in his Target Field debut.

After showing no signs of rust in his season debut, against the Royals on Sunday, after serving his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug, Santana scuffled against the Tigers. He lasted just four innings, allowing six runs on three home runs in a no-decision.

Santana allowed three homers in just one of his 31 starts with the Braves last season but has now served up four in his two outings for the Twins. This start came after he'd allowed two runs in eight innings with eight strikeouts in a no-decision against the Royals.

"Everything was up in the zone," Santana said. "If you [make a] mistake against that team, they have a lot of power."

Santana ran into trouble early, loading the bases with one out in the second, but he was able to get out of the jam. He wasn't as lucky in the third, when he allowed a leadoff single to Yoenis Cespedes before giving up a two-run shot to Victor Martinez.

It was more of the same in the fourth, when he gave up a three-run homer to Cespedes before allowing a solo shot to J.D. Martinez. He struck out Alex Avila to get out of the inning, but that was it from him in his shortest start since Aug. 9, 2013, when he lasted 3 2/3 innings against the Red Sox while with the Royals.

"He wasn't as sharp as we saw in Kansas City," manager Paul Molitor said. "He got out of a big jam there in the second, but then all the runs were on home runs. It wasn't as good as we saw last time, but I have a lot of confidence he'll be fine."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.