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Sano HR, solid Santana back Twins

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins projected Opening Day starter Ervin Santana tossed three scoreless innings and was backed by a two-run homer from Miguel Sano in a 6-2 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at Hammond Stadium.

Former Twins designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Blue Jays this offseason, paced the offense for Toronto, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to raise his average to .545 early this spring. Catcher Juan Graterol had an RBI double in the fourth to get the Blue Jays on the board.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins projected Opening Day starter Ervin Santana tossed three scoreless innings and was backed by a two-run homer from Miguel Sano in a 6-2 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at Hammond Stadium.

Former Twins designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Blue Jays this offseason, paced the offense for Toronto, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to raise his average to .545 early this spring. Catcher Juan Graterol had an RBI double in the fourth to get the Blue Jays on the board.

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"I thought we swung the bats a little better than the score indicated early on," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "Morales, you can just tell how he plays the game here. He's a good hitter, he's not just a guy up there slugging away."

Santana was efficient for the Twins, becoming their first starter to reach three innings. The veteran right-hander scattered five hits and a walk with a strikeout, while working on his changeup command. It's a pitch he used roughly 10 percent of the time last year to great success, posting a 3.38 ERA in 30 starts.

Video: TOR@MIN: Santana induces a frame-ending double play

"It was good," Santana said. "My focus is on my changeup right now more than anything else. I threw probably 10. The last inning I didn't have a great feel for it, but kept throwing it."

Right-hander Casey Lawrence started for the Blue Jays, allowing one run on two hits and a walk. The Twins scored their lone run against him in the second, keyed by a leadoff single from Sano and a double from Max Kepler. Kennys Vargas scored Sano with an RBI groundout.

"I thought Lawrence looked good," Gibbons said "He had two seeing-eye hits there."

Sano extended Minnesota's lead with his first homer of the spring, a towering two-run shot to left-center off right-hander Mike Bolsinger. It was a good sign from Sano, who entered the game having struck out in five consecutive at-bats.

Twins left fielder J.B. Shuck made a highlight-reel play in the fourth, when he robbed Anthony Alford of extra-bases with a running catch into the left-field wall.

Blue Jays second baseman Ryan Goins plated a run with an RBI single in the seventh off reliever Raul Fernandez, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double to end the inning. The Twins capped the scoring with two runs in the eighth on a two-run double from Drew Stubbs.

Blue Jays Up Next:  The Blue Jays host the Rays on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. ET, in a game that can be watched on MLB.TV, before they take their first off-day of the spring on Monday. Right-hander Marcus Stroman is expected to start, followed by right-hander Marco Estrada.

Twins Up Next: The Twins make the trek to Palm Beach for the first time to face the Nationals at their new ballpark on Monday at 12:05 p.m. CT in a game available on Gameday Audio. Left-hander Hector Santiago is set to make his second start of the spring and his last before departing to join Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Other pitchers expected to throw include Tyler Duffey, Justin Haley and Nick Tepesch.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Blue Jays on Saturday.