Santana's first Twins homer among big hits Monday

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Home runs and strikeouts were what the Twins did best last season, and they displayed that combination on Monday in a victory over the Atlanta Braves at Hammond Stadium.

The Twins' starting lineup struck out eight times in only five innings, but it didn't matter. Ryan Jeffers and Willi Castro hit back-to-back solo blasts onto the left-field berm in the fourth inning against Braves' lefthanded reliever Dylan Lee, and Carlos Santana provided the go-ahead run with his first home run of the spring in the fifth, a line-drive to right field off Grant Holmes. The Twins won 4-3.

The Twins also won their road game on this split-squad Monday, 7-2 over Baltimore in Sarasota.

In the home game, the home runs combined with three uneven innings from Pablo López and six shutout frames from the bullpen to beat the Braves.

López allowed six baserunners in his 51-pitch outing, including a 418-foot rocket by MLB's top home run hitter in 2023, Matt Olson, that gave the Braves a 2-0 first-inning lead. But Griffin Jax and Brock Stewart each pitched a shutout inning, and the Twins improved to 3-1-2 in Grapefruit League home games.

BOXSCORE: Twins 7, Baltimore 2

BOXSCORE: Twins 4, Atlanta 3

In Sarasota, the Twins scored four runs against Orioles closer Craig Kimbrel, which included a long home run to right field from prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez, and they cruised to a 7-2 victory at Ed Smith Stadium.

Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee both collected two hits, with one double apiece, to lead the Twins' offense. Catching prospect Jair Camargo added an RBI double off Orioles starter Dean Kremer.

Twins pitchers permitted only three hits to earn their first Grapefruit League road win of the spring. Kody Funderburk pitched two innings, striking out two, while lefty Steven Okert retired three of the four batters he faced with one walk.