National Sports Briefs: Santana sharp in win against Braves
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. ó Since returning from elbow tightness, Johan Santana has been saying he’s on track to make his opening-day start for the New York Mets.
He backed that up on Sunday.
In his second Grapefruit League start this spring, Santana tossed five strong innings and the Mets scored nine runs in the seventh for a 12-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
“I felt pretty good out there,” said Santana, who didn’t make his first exhibition start until March 12 and then faced minor leaguers last Tuesday.
The 30-year-old lefty was sharp against the Braves, striking out seven. He worked out of one small jam and yielded two hits.
“I was able to command my fastball. I was able to mix up my pitches and throw some sliders to lefties, so I think it was good,” Santana said. “I think we’re on the right track. We’re on schedule to do everything as planned.”
Santana made one costly mistake, opening the fifth inning by throwing a 2-0 letter-high strike to Matt Diaz, who drove it to left for a solo homer.
Diaz improved his average to .395.
– PHOENIX ó Andruw Jones could stick with the Texas Rangers through spring training, even though he won’t be a starter and there is no guarantee of him making the team.
During a meeting Sunday with general manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington, the five-time All-Star said he would be willing to remain with Texas as a backup outfielder and part-time designated hitter.
– PHOENIX ó Right-hander Gavin Floyd and the Chicago White Sox agreed Sunday to a $15.5 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2013.
The 26-year-old was 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA for the White Sox last year and is 25-18 in 73 games over parts of five big league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and White Sox.
– PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. ó Injured Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton likely will miss the start of the regular season after being hit in the hand by a pitch during a minor league spring training game.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. ó Retief Goosen took an important step toward rejoining the elite in golf Sunday by closing with a 1-under 70 for a one-shot victory in the Transitions Championship, his first PGA Tour win in nearly four years.
– HUIXQUILUCAN, Mexico ó Pat Hurst shot a 4-under 68 Sunday to beat top-ranked Lorena Ochoa and Yani Tseng by one stroke at the Mastercard Classic.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. ó Rafael Nadal powered his way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Andy Murray on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open to win his second Indian Wells title in three years.
Like Nadal, Vera Zvonareva was steadier in the wind than her finals opponent, beating defending champion Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (5), 6-2 to win the women’s title.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Dave Miller has become the youngest harness driver to win 9,000 races.
The 44-year-old driver sent Redstone Ruckus to victory Sunday in the sixth race at the Meadowlands. He now ranks 11th on the career list and is fifth on the earnings list with $121 million in purses.
TAMPA, Fla. ó Oakland Raiders tackle Cornell Green has been arrested on a domestic violence charge in Florida.
CARSON, Calif. ó Landon Donovan scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to give the Los Angeles Galaxy a 2-2 tie with D.C. United on Sunday in the MLS opener for both teams.