Santana a 'welcome addition' to Twins

Free-agent signee tosses two scoreless innings in debut vs. O's

Santana a 'welcome addition' to Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ervin Santana's first Spring Training outing since joining the Twins as a free agent this offseason couldn't have gone much better.

The right-hander, who joined the club on a four-year deal worth $55 million, scattered two singles over two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. He threw 26 pitches with 19 going for strikes, including first-pitch strikes to six of the eight batters he faced, which was his biggest emphasis heading into his outing.

"It was good," said Santana, who also threw 10 pitches in the bullpen after his outing to reach his scheduled pitch count. "I was looking to always throw first-pitch strikes, and I got a lot of them today. So it was a good outing."

Santana mixed in his changeup and his slider as well, and he was especially pleased with the slider. He struck out the final batter he faced, Ryan Lavarnway, with a slider to end the second.

E. Santana fans Lavarnway

"The slider was pretty good," Santana said. "I just have to keep throwing it."

Twins manager Paul Molitor liked what he saw on the mound, but he also has been impressed with Santana's actions off the field as well.

"Everything about from his press conference, to Twinsfest, to since he's been here, I just see a really good focus," Molitor said. "It was his first start, a couple innings, but he looked really fresh. He was very aggressive. His velocity was up, and his breaking ball was sharp. So he's here to work, and I know he wants to win, so he's been a welcome addition to say the least."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.