"I know what we have to do, and what I have to do, to help my team and take care of business," Santana said. "I don't think everything is just going to be on me. I think we help each other and everyone here understands what they have to do."It will be a battle of two strong left-handers in the season opener as the Orioles will start southpaw Erik Bedard. The Canadian hurler's potential has been a big topic of discussion in baseball circles over the past few seasons, but now the Orioles feel he's emerged as a potential ace. And it's something that his opponents have noticed, as well. "Bedard has really come on as one of the best lefties in the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's going to provide quite a test for our offense." The Twins return almost the exact same lineup that helped them lead the American League in batting last year. They also return a stellar bullpen. But in the end, it seems that the Twins' success always comes down to its starting pitching. And at least one pitcher seems ready. "I'm feeling pretty good and aggressive," Santana said. "You see everything coming out pretty good. Before, you sometimes are at the point where you're going to throw to get a feel of the changeup and then have to slow things down. But I'm not now. I'm feeling good. I'm ready for the regular season."
|Twins probable lineup|
MIN: LHP Johan Santana
19-6, 2.77 ERA in 2006
Did not face BAL in 2006
2-1, 3.23 ERA lifetime vs. BAL BAL: LHP Erik Bedard
15-11, 3.76 ERA in 2006
0-2, 4.66 ERA in 2006 vs. MIN
0-3, 2.63 ERA lifetime vs. MIN On the Internet
Official game notes On television
ESPN On radio
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Tuesday: Orioles at Twins, 7:10 p.m. CT
Wednesday: Orioles at Twins, 7:10 p.m. CT
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.