Santana strong in spring debut

March 7, 2012 12:00 am

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To Johan Santana and the New York Mets, this was a most pleasant spring sight.

The lefty ace returned to the mound for his first game against major league hitters in 18 months and pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday as a Mets split squad beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-6.

Santana walked his first batter on five pitches. But a single marked the only other runner against Santana, who threw 17 of 29 pitches for strikes.

The two-time Cy Young winner previously pitched to big league hitters on Sept. 2, 2010, in a game in Atlanta. Two weeks later he underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

"Finally I had an opportunity to go out there and finally get the first one out of the way," Santana said. "... I was excited about today. I was anxious to go out there and do it."


Infielder Carlos Guillen, a three-time All-Star who played 14 major league seasons, announced his retirement. "It's a tough decision for me, for my family, for everybody because I tried to come back," said Guillen, who was at Seattle's spring training camp as a non-roster invitee. Guillen said he considered the decision for the past few days. "I've been through a lot of injuries. Your body tells you," he said.


Chris Perez, out with a left oblique strain, played catch in his first baseball activity since being hurt Feb. 24. "I played catch, no big deal," Cleveland's All-Star closer said.


Ryan Doumit made his first start at catcher for Minnesota, giving Joe Mauer the day off. The former Pirate has already seen time in the outfield and as a designated hitter for the Twins.

Around the diamonds

Melky Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate in the San Francisco Giants' 8-4 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Felix Hernandez struck out four in three hitless innings of Seattle's 8-6 win against the Reds. ... Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs and a double to send the Chicago Cubs to an 11-4 victory against Colorado. ... A day after going 3 for 3, Elvis Andrus singled, doubled, scored twice and had a sacrifice fly to help the Texas Rangers rout Arizona, 16-3.

First Published 2012-03-06 23:04:49

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