3-hit, 2-RBI effort from Santana carries Twins

3-hit, 2-RBI effort from Santana carries Twins

TAMPA, Fla. -- Danny Santana had three hits and drove in two runs, supporting Phil Hughes' solid effort as the Twins defeated the Yankees, 5-2, on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Santana doubled twice and scored a run off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi, who permitted five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his penultimate start of the spring.

Box score

Brett Gardner hit a fourth-inning homer off Hughes, who limited his original club to a run on three hits over six innings. Hughes walked one and struck out one in his fourth start of the spring.

"It's as close to their Opening Day lineup as you're going to get, so it was a good test to see that," Hughes said. "You don't want to just cruise through Spring Training all the time. You want to have some good reps and see some good competition, and top to bottom there's not an easy out in that lineup. So it was good to see that."

Minnesota opened up the contest with four runs in the sixth inning, as Santana ripped an RBI double and Brian Dozier and Byung Ho Park collected run-scoring singles to chase Eovaldi.

"I felt good up until that sixth inning," Eovaldi said. "I had the leadoff walk, which can't really happen -- especially in the sixth inning, 1-1 ballgame -- but other than that, I felt really good. All my pitches felt good."

Eduardo Escobar greeted Dellin Betances with an RBI infield single. That run was charged to Eovaldi, who walked two and struck out five, throwing 59 of 72 pitches for strikes.

Up next for the Twins: It's crunch day for the rotation as right-hander Tyler Duffey battles for the No. 5 starter spot at McKechnie Field against the Pirates on Monday at 12:05 p.m. CT (watch the game on MLB.TV). Duffey has surrendered six runs in 8 1/3 innings of work this spring in an effort to beat out Ricky Nolasco for the final spot.

Up next for the Yankees: Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.86 ERA) will make his first start and fifth appearance of the spring on Monday at 6:35 p.m. ET, facing the Tigers, who traded him for left-hander Justin Wilson back in December. Cessa is still in the running for a spot on the Opening Day roster. Detroit will send right-hander Buck Farmer to the hill.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.