Minnesota 6, Boston 3

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Torii Hunter has been waiting longer

than most players for this season to start. The first true test of

his swing was a big success.

Hunter homered on the first pitch he saw from Red Sox

right-hander Jonathan Papelbon, sparking the Minnesota Twins to a

6-3 victory over Boston on Thursday night in the first spring

training game for both teams.

Joe Mauer and Lew Ford each hit a solo shot for Minnesota, which

got two shutout innings from Johan Santana and Carlos Silva before

they head to the World Baseball Classic. Mauer also had an RBI


Coco Crisp, Johnny Damon's replacement in center field, began

his Red Sox career with a single, double, triple and run scored.

After breaking his right ankle while trying to make a leaping

catch against Fenway Park's center-field wall during a late July

game in Boston, Hunter missed the rest of the season -- one reason

the Twins faded from the pennant race.

In his first action since the injury, Hunter smacked Papelbon's

delivery over the left-field fence to make it 1-0 in the second

inning. Terry Tiffee later drove in Ford with an RBI single.

Papelbon, a 25-year-old who drew raves as a rookie last season,

gave the Red Sox a scare on his first batter. Shannon Stewart hit a

sharp line drive off Papelbon's left foot that went for a


"If it was an inch higher, it would've shattered my ankle,"

Papelbon said, adding that he was fine.

After walking around gingerly for a bit, conferring with manager

Terry Francona and tossing a few warmup pitches, Papelbon stayed in

the game and gave up four hits, two runs and one walk in 1 2-3


Second baseman Tony Graffanino saved him from further damage

with a slick pickup of Mauer's grounder up the middle. He shoveled

the ball to shortstop Alejandro Machado to start a double play.

This was the first of five March meetings between the two teams

that train in Fort Myers. Minnesota won the Mayor's Cup last year,

four games to two. Crisp was the only projected regular who made

the 15-minute trip with Boston, which left behind David Ortiz,

Manny Ramirez and just about everybody else of note.

Dustan Mohr, a former Twins outfielder who is in Red Sox camp as

a non-roster player, batted cleanup and went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Santana and Silva were scheduled to leave Friday morning to join

the Venezuelan team in the inaugural world tournament, which has

temporarily ransacked the Twins' roster. They did learn that second

baseman Luis Castillo, who was originally going to play for the

Dominican Republic, has decided to stick around.

Though Santana walked two, he struck out three and said he's in

great shape. He used his slider and changeup effectively, keeping

them down in the strike zone.

"That's what you want to see," Santana said.