Santana opens against Red Sox

Santana opens three-game set with Red Sox

Twins fans have been witness to a few great pitching duels at the Metrodome already this season, but there maybe none greater than the one that could occur on Tuesday.

The aces of both the Red Sox and the Twins will be on the mound when the clubs face off in Game 1 of a three-game set. And when those aces are pitchers like right-hander Curt Schilling and southpaw Johan Santana, that's a pretty strong matchup by any means of the imagination.

But with an off-day on Monday before facing the Red Sox, there was a clear agreement by the Twins that they would rather not think about having to face Schilling, a perennial Cy Young Award contender, until they return on Tuesday.

"We'll wait to think about that until we get back here on Tuesday," first baseman Justin Morneau said with a smile. "Then all of our focus will be on him."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire knows that it won't just be the pitching that will be strong for Boston, as the Red Sox always seem to boast a tough lineup as well.

"It should be a good series with those guys," Gardenhire said. "They are always hard on us so, hopefully, we can keep up what we've been doing."

After picking up a series victory over the Orioles at home this past weekend, the Twins hope to add another to their total after these three games. The Twins have not lost a home series since April 18-20 against the Angels, and they are 5-1 in their last six games at the Metrodome.

Pitching matchup
MIN: LHP Johan Santana (6-4, 3.16 ERA)
Santana's given up two runs in his last two starts, which led to victories over the Athletics and the Mariners. Now, Santana faces a tougher challenge. In his career, he's 3-3 with a 4.06 ERA against Boston.

BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (9-2, 3.81 ERA)
Schilling continued his stellar pitching with his fourth win in five games, tossing eight innings while only giving up three-runs and four hits in his last start. However, three of those hits were solo homers. The veteran hasn't lost in more than a month.

Player to watch
Gardenhire has shifted his DH position around quite a bit of late and he might want to consider using Mike Redmond in that slot on Tuesday. The Twins backup catcher is 5-for-10 off Schilling in his career with a double and two RBIs.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN North

On radio
• WCCO Radio 830 AM

Up next
• Wednesday: Boston (RHP Tim Wakefield, 4-7, 3.93) at Minnesota (RHP Brad Radke, 4-7, 6.17), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Boston (LHP Jon Lester, 0-0, 6.23) at Minnesota (RHP Carlos Silva, 2-8, 7.73), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Friday: Minnesota (LHP Francisco Liriano, 5-1, 2.10) at Pittsburgh (RHP Ian Snell, 7-3, 4.75), 6:05 p.m. CT

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.