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Archive for Monday, March 19, 2007

Smooth sailing continues for Santana

Cy Young Award winner lowers spring earned-run average to 0.64 with five shutout innings

March 19, 2007

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Regular season, spring training - doesn't matter. Johan Santana is almost unhittable.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched five shutout innings Sunday, allowing one hit and leading the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over a Philadelphia Phillies split squad in Fort Myers, Fla.

Santana walked three and struck out two, lowering his ERA to 0.64 in spring training.

"All of my pitches are there," Santana said. "Before, my changeup wasn't there. Now, it's there. The mechanics are all there."

AL MVP Justin Morneau homered for the second consecutive day for Minnesota and is 5-for-6 in his last two games.

Also in Fort Myers, Red Sox ace Curt Schilling threw 98 pitches over six strong innings in a game featuring mostly Triple-A players at Boston's minor league complex.

Schilling mixed all his pitches and hopes his next start will prove to manager Terry Francona that he's prepared to go deep into the game during Boston's season opener at Kansas City on April 2.

At Kissimmee, Fla., the Braves were missing Chipper and Andruw so they found another Jones to provide the power and back five scoreless innings from Tim Hudson.

Brandon Jones hit a two-run homer, and Brian McCann added a long shot over the right-field bullpen to lead Atlanta past the Detroit Tigers, 4-3 in a split-squad game.

Chipper Jones missed his third straight game with a sore muscle on his right side.

"It's just a tweak," he said through team spokesman Brad Hainje.

Andruw Jones was a late scratch with an ailing right shoulder.

In other news, Erik Bedard was picked to start Baltimore's season opener in Minnesota on April 2.

In other spring training games:

Red Sox 2, Orioles 1

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera allowed only one run but struggled with his control, walking five batters in five innings.

Yankees 8, Pirates 1

At Tampa, Fla., Mike Mussina, who had struggled this spring, gave up three hits over five scoreless innings for New York.

Cardinals 5, Mets 4

At Jupiter, Fla., St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen started and faced three batters. He threw 15 pitches, nine for strikes, and struck out Carlos Beltran looking on a cutter.

Astros 4, Blue Jays 3

At Kissimmee, Fla., Roy Oswalt allowed three runs and one hit in 52â3 innings for Houston.

Braves (ss) 6, Reds 5

At Sarasota, Fla., Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson homered off Aaron Harang.

Tigers (ss) 6, Devil Rays (ss) 0

At Lakeland, Fla., Nate Robertson pitched five sharp innings.

Devil Rays (ss) 5, Phillies (ss) 4

At Clearwater, Fla., Brett Myers tossed six-plus strong innings and Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer, but the Devil Rays rallied against Philadelphia's bullpen.

Indians 5, Dodgers 0

At Winter Haven, Fla., C.C. Sabathia pitched four-hit ball for five impressive innings.

Marlins 3, Nationals 1

At Viera, Fla., Washington starter John Patterson pitched three innings and gave up three runs.

Rangers 12, Rockies 8

At Surprise, Ariz., Bruce Chen tossed three scoreless innings to remain in the competition for the No. 5 spot in Texas' rotation.

White Sox 14, Padres 7

At Peoria, Ariz., David Wells gave up seven runs and 10 hits in three innings for the Padres.

Mariners 9, Brewers 5

At Phoenix, Ben Sheets, likely to be Milwaukee's opening-day starter, was roughed up for five runs and seven hits in 31â3 innings.

Angels (ss) 4, Cubs 0

At Tempe, Ariz., John Lackey gave up two hits in six shutout innings to beat Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano.

Athletics (ss) 6, Angels 5 (ss)

At Phoenix, Dan Haren was selected as Oakland's opening-day starter and then threw his longest outing of the spring.

Athletics (ss) 7, Diamondbacks 5

At Tucson, Ariz., Arizona's Livan Hernandez was ineffective again, and Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer for Oakland.

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