MINNEAPOLIS — Johan Santana threw eight strong innings Friday night and the Minnesota Twins moved two games above .500 for the first time this season with a 7-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Justin Morneau homered and had three runs batted in, and Michael Cuddyer and Luis Castillo each drove in two runs to support Santana (8-4), who outpitched Cubs rookie Carlos Marmol (1-2) to send the Twins to their 12th victory in 14 games.
"Right now, we expect to win. There was a period there when we didn't know what was going to happen," Manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Phil Nevin homered early and Chicago scored late on a throwing error by shortstop Jason Bartlett that followed three eighth-inning singles, but Santana struck out Aramis Ramirez to end the threat.
The left-hander struck out six and walked one while giving up five hits.
Leading off the second, Nevin sent an 0-1 pitch from Santana high into the seats in left field to give Chicago an early edge, prompting a Metrodome fan to chuck it back in an ode to Wrigley Field's bleacher culture.