Mauer's first spring homer backs solid Santana outing

Right-hander allows one run over six innings; first baseman slugs two-run shot

Mauer's first spring homer backs solid Santana outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ervin Santana tossed six strong innings and Joe Mauer crushed a two-run homer to help lead the Twins to a 7-1 win over the Phillies on Saturday at Hammond Stadium.

Santana, making his fourth Grapefruit League start, gave up just one run on five hits while striking out two. The lone run he allowed came in the third inning on an RBI single from Odubel Herrera to score Cesar Hernandez, who led off the inning with a double.

"Everything was good," Santana said. "I was keeping the ball down for the most part. A couple times it was up, but that happens. But everything was good."

He fared better than Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams, who surrendered six runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks over four-plus innings.

The Twins took the lead with a three-run third inning when Brian Dozier led off with a single and scored on a double from Eduardo Escobar. Kennys Vargas brought home Escobar on an infield single that hit off the second base bag. The Twins got their third run of the inning thanks to an error from Hernandez on a grounder hit to second base by Eduardo Nunez. After the error prolonged the inning, Shane Robinson came through with an RBI single.

Escobar's RBI double

Mauer gave Minnesota two insurance runs with a deep blast to right field off Hernandez in the fourth. It was the first homer of the spring for Mauer, who went 2-for-3 on the afternoon.

Vargas' RBI single

The Twins scored again in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Schafer, which was keyed by a throwing error from third baseman Cord Phelps.

Schafer's diving catch in center

Up next: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is lined up to be the No. 3 starter in the rotation, is set to start against the the Orioles in Sarasota on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT. That can be heard on Gameday Audio. Right- hander Mike Pelfrey, who was moved to the bullpen after losing out on the competition for the fifth starter role to Tommy Milone, is also slated to pitch in relief for the first time since going to the bullpen.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.