Roundup: Santana strong; Mets fall
The Mets' John Santana continued to show improvement from his shoulder surgery
Tommy Hunter returned from a back injury to allow two runs over five innings
Liam Hendriks continued his strong start for the Twins, his spring ERA is 1.64
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Johan Santana cleared another hurdle in his comeback from shoulder surgery.
The New York Mets left-hander pitched six innings in his longest outing of spring training in a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
"We talked about the process in getting him ready for the season. There are some minor steps, there are some baby steps and there are some giant steps," manager Terry Collins said. "Today was a giant step forward."
Santana allowed a run on six hits in six innings with six strikeouts.
"I had a good day," he said. "I was able to look at all of my pitches. I threw some good ones out there."
Santana worked six innings for the first time since Aug. 28, 2010 against the Astros. The lone run came on an RBI single by Lance Berkman in the sixth.
"It's not about one inning or that pitch or what they're doing," Santana said. "It's about going deeper in the game."
Collins is optimistic about Santana return to major league action. He's lined up to start the April 5 opener at home against the Braves.
"Nobody's come back from this operation," Collins said. "We're certainly hoping he'll be the exception to that rule."
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook was even stingier, working six scoreless innings while allowing three hits. Westbrook has allowed one earned run in 15 innings.
Westbrook is the first St. Louis pitcher to go six innings.
The Mets are a major-league worst 4-12 this spring, while the Cardinals are 10-4.
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- Tommy Hunter returned from a back injury to allow two runs over five innings in his first start of spring training.
Hunter, who had been sidelined by a lower back injury, threw 74 pitches and gave up five hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He threw four innings last week in a minor league start.
J.P. Arencibia hit a long home run to left off Hunter in the third, his fourth of spring training.
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) -- Phil Hughes allowed only three hits -- one, a two-run homer by Matt Jocye -- in five innings.
After Hughes walked Carlos Pena leading off the second, Joyce hit a first-pitch cutter for his third homer of the spring
VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- John Lannan allowed three hits in four scoreless innings. He would be Washington's No. 5 starter if right-hander Chien-Ming Wang doesn't recover from a strained left hamstring in time to take his first turn.
Braves starter Tommy Hanson gave up one run and one hit in four innings.
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Jon Lester, in his first outing since Boston said he will start on opening day, allowed four runs and eight hits in three innings. He has a 5.73 ERA in three starts.
Nate McLouth hit his first home run of spring training, a two-run drive in the seventh.
Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings after starting spring training with nine scoreless innings.
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Luke Hughes hit a three-run homer, and Liam Hendriks allowed two runs and four hits over four innings. Hendriks, who started four games for the Twins last season, has a 1.64 ERA and hopes to win a spot in the Twins' rotation. He struck out two and walked none.
Tigers starter Andy Oliver, who hadn't allowed a run in nine innings, gave up Hughes' second-inning homer. Oliver, a leading candidate for the final spot in the Tigers rotation, allowed three runs, two hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer and leads the Indians with four homers and 12 RBIs.
Giants starter Eric Surkamp allowed the homer among four hits over five innings, striking out three.
Indians reliever Rafael Perez fanned two over one perfect inning in his spring debut. He had been nursing a sore left shoulder.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Tim Stauffer pitched three-hit ball for six innings and had a two-run single as San Diego won its fifth straight.
Jamey Wright, a former starter who is trying to make the Dodgers' staff as swing man, started and pitched two perfect innings.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Kansas City pitcher Luis Mendoza was knocked out of the game in the second inning after being struck by a Brandon Allen single. Mendoza, who has allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings in four starts, bruised left hamstring and is day to day.
Oakland was playing its last game in Arizona before leaving for Tokyo, where the A's meet Seattle in an opening two-game series next Wednesday and Thursday.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona's Daniel Hudson and Milwaukee's Yovanni Gallardo were dominant into the fifth inning.
Hudson allowed just two hits, a walk and struck out four, in five innings. Gallardo nearly matched Hudson by giving up seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Felix Hernandez allowed eight runs -- seven earned -- and 10 hits over five innings in his final spring training start, throwing 56 of 92 pitches for strikes. Hernandez's next start is scheduled for Wednesday in the season opener against Oakland in Tokyo.
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