Twins (ss) 1, Red Sox (ss) 0

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP)—If this had been the regular season, it would have been the matchup of the day, if not the week.

Johan Santana bested Curt Schilling, pitching three scoreless innings to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Boston Red Sox 1-0 in a split-squad game Thursday, their second exhibition meeting this year.

Schilling struck out four in four innings, allowing one run, two hits and one walk. He worked on a changeup, a pitch he’s trying to add to his repertoire.

Minnesota’s Matthew LeCroy, batting in the second inning, saw four straight changes from Schilling before striking out looking on a fastball.

“I was like, ‘What in the world?”’ LeCroy said.

The 40-year-old Schilling threw changeups on 14 of 60 pitches.

“I thought he threw the ball very well,” Boston pitching coach John Farrell said. “Of those 14, probably four or five of them were the quality that we, and he, are looking for. He takes all of his work very seriously. He uses spring training to its fullest.”

Santana, struck out three of 12 batters, trying to mix pitches as if it were a real game.

“I felt much better,” he said. “My fastball is much better coming out of my hand, and I’m getting the ball down. I’m making progress. I’m trying to get a feel for all of my pitches.”

The two-time Cy Young Award winner’s contract doesn’t expire until after the 2008 season.

“I would love to stay here,” Santana said. “It’s going to be up to them to make it happen. Hopefully they’ll find a way to keep this team together when they get a new ballpark for many years to come.”

Venezuelan left-hander Jose Mijares got a save with a perfect ninth in his first spring training appearance. He missed the past two weeks after his brother was killed by a gunshot in Caracas.

“He’s got some stuff under control,” pitching coach Rick Anderson said. “Not bad at all for his first time out there.”

LeCroy, who signed a minor league contract with the Twins after a rough 2006 season with the Washington Nationals, has a long-hot chance to win a roster spot. LeCroy, drafted in the first round by Minnesota in 1997, went 1-for-3 with a double in the fifth off Devern Hansack.

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