The long haul

Twins Spring Training

The Twins win the innings that matter, but the Jays win the game.

After Santana's departure after five, Toronto outscores Minnesota, 4-0, over the final four. The winning run is produced by John Schneider, who scores Manny Mayorson on a sac fly in the ninth.

Should be interesting tomorrow when Carlos Silva takes the hill against the Pirates. The Twins desperately need Silva to settle in and start making progress.

Take care.


W: Kemp, L: Rincon

HR: Hunter, MIN (3); 2B: Smith, TOR (4)


Minnesota 5, Toronto 2; top of the sixth

J.D. Durbin has come in to replace Santana, who is in line to get the win. After allowing two runs in the first two innings, the Twins ace faced just 11 batters over his final three.

Fifth inning

TORONTO: Nielson 3-1, McDonald BB, Hill K, Overbay 1-3; MINNESOTA: Redmond F8, Cuddyer L7, Morneau 6-3.

Fourth inning

TORONTO: Smith 4-3, Duncan K, Matthews K; MINNESOTA: Rodriguez 1B9, Castillo DP643, Cirillo 5-3.

Santana allowed a walk in the third but nothing more. Meanwhile, Hunter smoked a laser beam just over the left field wall for his third homer of spring training.

Third inning

TORONTO: Hill F8, Overbay F8, Stairs BB, Phillips K; MINNESOTA: Morneau F9, Hunter HR7, White F8, Kubel 3-1.

Second inning

TORONTO: Smith 2B8 (R), Duncan 5-3, Matthews 1B9, Nielsen SF7 (RBI), McDonald 5-3; MINNESOTA: Castillo BB, Cirillo BB, Redmond DP463, Cuddyer F9.

First Inning

TORONTO: McDonald F7, Hill 1B16 (R), Overbay 1B8, Stairs SF9 (RBI), Phillips K; MINNESOTA: Castillo F9, Cirillo 1B9 (R), Redmond IB8 (R), Cuddyer BB (R), Morneau 1B8 (2 RBI, R), Hunter 4-3 (RBI, R), White 1B7 (RBI), Kubel 1B8 (RBI), Rodriguez K.


It will be wall-to-wall baseball at Hammond Stadium over the next six days, with today the first of five home games over that stretch.

The Twins get it started with Johan Santana, who is pitching for the fifth time this spring. All five starts have come in home games.

If you missed it, there were a couple of news items that broke yesterday. They happened to involve Minnesota's brightest young hitting stars.

Catcher Joe Mauer was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his left fibula. Nothing serious. He is only expected to miss four or five games. Still, any news that has Mauer's name attached to it is significant; after all, he's the hometown hero.

Meanwhile, Justin Morneau, the reigning AL MVP, revealed that he and the Twins are still a ways from coming to a long-term contract agreement. He had hoped to have that resolved last weekend, when his agent was in town to meet with Minnesota brass.

The Blue Jays, who train in Dunedin, are here for the only time this spring. They will pitch Gustavo Chacin, who has a 23-14 career record.

Here are the lineups:

TORONTO: SS McDonald, 2B Hill, 1B Overbay, DH Stairs, C Phillips, 3B Smith, CF Duncan, RF Matthews, LF Nielsen; LHP Gustavo Chacin.

MINNESOTA: 2B Castillo, SS Cirillo, C Redmond, DH Cuddyer, 1B Morneau, CF Hunter, LF White, RF Kubel, 3B Rodriguez; LHP Johan Santana.

Meanwhile, the Twins made a few more moves Friday morning. Pitcher Scott Baker and infielders Alexi Casilla and Garrett Jones have been optioned to Triple-A Rochester. There are now 38 players in camp, including eight non-roster invitees.

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