Ervin Santana throws seven innings in latest tuneup start in minors

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Ervin Santana is still serving out his 80-game PED suspension, but he’s permitted to pitch in the minors in preparation for joining the Twins on July 5 against the Royals. After a strong performance in his first start with Triple-A Rochester last Saturday, the veteran right-hander had his second start tonight:

Santana has allowed four runs in 12 2/3 innings with a 6/4 K/BB ratio over his first two outings. He will make one more tuneup start in the minors before his Twins debut.

After posting a 3.95 ERA over 31 starts with the Braves last season, Santana received a franchise record four-year, $55 million free agent contract from Minnesota over the winter. It’s been a long wait, but the surprising Twins (39-33) are hoping to get some bang for their buck over the final three months of the season.