Another assist: Johan Santana was a tad rusty in his first start of the spring on Sunday, as he walked three of the first four batters he faced.But Santana was able to work his way out of some jams to only give up one run on three hits over two innings against the Red Sox. The ace has made a career out of being able to pitch well without his best stuff, and now he's trying to help Carlos Silva do the same thing. Santana was on hand for Silva's bullpen session on Saturday, watching Silva work on some of his pitches. "He definitely has to trust all those pitches," Santana said. "You cannot live in this game with just one pitch as a starter. He knows that, and now he's working on it. "He's always willing to learn, and he's always listening. I definitely think he's going to improve this year. He needs to feel confident about himself, and I think he's up to it. I think he's going to be fine this year." Infirmary report: Despite feeling some tightness in his knee while running Saturday, Lew Ford remains on the rehabilitation track. Ford said he was a little concerned after he had to halt his running due to the tightness, but the doctors told him that's not uncommon. "Mentally, I feel a lot better knowing that it feels OK when I'm walking around," Ford said Sunday morning. Contrary to some reports that Ford might be on his way to surgery, Gardenhire said the doctors are happy with Ford's progress. The outfielder is now scheduled to continue a light running program that will include some cutting motions, but it's still unclear just when he will be able to play in a game. Torii Hunter took some swings on Sunday, the first time he had done so since getting hit in the head with a pitch last Friday night. Hunter is slated to start in center field in the team's "B" game against Boston on Monday. He said he is still feeling some effects from getting hit and was told that those often linger for about a week. Ponson ready: Monday's "B" game against the Red Sox will mark Sidney Ponson's first stint on the mound this spring. Gardenhire said that after talking to the veteran pitcher, he could tell Ponson's not taking this opportunity to earn a spot in the rotation lightly. "He's a little nervous, and that shows me he's thinking about it," Gardenhire said. "Now he's got to go out there and throw the ball." Twins tidbits: Right-hander J.D. Durbin is scheduled to see his first game action on Wednesday against the Pirates. Durbin threw a bullpen session on Saturday and reported that everything went well. He will throw one more 12-minute bullpen session on Monday before he's scheduled to pitch. ... Dennys Reyes still has not arrived back at camp after leaving for Mexico this past Monday to be with his wife for the birth of their third child, a daughter named Claudia. He was expected to return Sunday but after the game, Gardenhire said that he had yet to see the reliever. ... Pitcher Jose Mijares is now back in camp after spending a few days back home in Venezuela following his brother's death. Mijares threw a light bullpen session on Sunday morning. Coming up: The Twins head to St. Petersburg to take on the Devil Rays in a 12:05 p.m. CT start. Silva will take the mound for the second time this spring and he will be followed by right-hander Matt Garza.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less