... Live From Fort Myers

  • Updated: March 10, 2007 - 9:41 PM

Troubles continue to haunt Ford

The loss of Lew Ford to arthroscopic surgery is the latest unfortunate development for the 30-year-old outfielder.

Ford had surgery on his left knee during the offseason but has been hobbled by pain in his right knee, believed to be from compensating for the left knee. He has a slight cartilage tear in the right knee and received a cortisone shot last week for tendinitis.

He suffered a setback Friday while trying to run.

"It's just not getting better," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "After him not being able to go back out there, he's going to go up there with Dr. [John] Steubs and do a scope of his knee and clean it out."


Righthander Ramon Ortiz gave up an unearned run in three innings of work, giving up three hits and striking out four and lowering his spring ERA to 1.12.

And he's having a great time with his new teammates.

"It's unbelievable, this team here," he said. "I've never seen a team like Minnesota. Everyone is together, and everyone is happy. There are no superstars here. Everybody is the same. It makes me feel very good."


Torii Hunter was in the outfield before Saturday's game when he spotted Tampa Bay outfielder Elijah Dukes,

"Come here!" Hunter said to Dukes, who has been arrested five times since 2003 and was suspended five times during last season alone.

Hunter offered his services as a mentor to Dukes, who is listed 79th on Baseball America's top-100 prospects list. During their brief chat, Hunter encouraged Dukes to make better decisions and take advantage of his massive talent.

"He has a chance to have a long career." Hunter said.


•Rondell White's bat looks a little quicker this spring. He said he's made an adjustment to help him get to the high fastball. "I feel rejuvenated," he said.

•Righthander J.D. Durbin, throwing as hard as 94 miles per hour, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out two batters just three days after being getting roughed up by Pittsburgh. "That's a confidence booster for him." Gardenhire said.


Luis Rodriguez drove in the winning run in the 11th after hitting two homers on Friday,


Justin Morneau (0-for-3 with a strikeout) is batting .167.


Lefthander Glen Perkins, Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes and Mike Venafro are scheduled to pitch today against Toronto.

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