Yankees 1

(11-13, 4-8 away)

Twins 3

(14-10, 9-4 home)

1:05 PM ET, March 24, 2006

Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, Florida 

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NYY 001000000 1 - -
MIN 00010002 - 3 - -

Minnesota 3, New York 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Randy Johnson is taking the mound with a purpose as spring training winds down.

Johnson allowed one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings in the New York Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Friday. The left-hander struck out six and didn't walk a batter.

"For me, these are meaningful games," Johnson said. "They prepare me for getting ready for even more meaningful games.

"I've had miserable spring trainings before. But you know what, we all want to go out and do well."

Twins first baseman Terry Tiffee hit a home run in the fourth inning to account for the Twins' only run against Johnson, who struck out Tiffee in the seventh before leaving the game.

"He was throwing gas," said Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, who went 0-for-3 and struck out twice against the 6-foot-10, Johnson. "He was throwing 96, 97 miles an hour."

Jason Kubel and Jason Tyner hit RBI singles in the eighth inning for the Twins.

Designated hitter Bernie Williams drove in the Yankees' run with a base hit in the third.

Johnson said being able to face a Twins lineup that included Shannon Stewart, Luis Castillo, Mike Redmond, Rondell White and Hunter three times through six innings will help him get ready for the season.

"When you're still making quality pitches in their third time up, you can feel your progression," Johnson said. "I faced them three times."

Johnson had a 17-8 record with a 3.79 ERA in 34 starts last season, his first with the Yankees. He ranked second in the American League with 211 strikeouts.

Johnson lowered his spring training ERA to 2.96 on Friday.

"He was real good," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Really good. He looked very smooth. I think the cool weather helped, too."

Torre said Johnson looks more comfortable as a Yankee this season.

"There's no question," Torre said. "I can just tell by his demeanor. Even walking around the clubhouse, he's different from last year. I just sense a little more comfort overall."

Johnson said he felt comfortable with all of his pitches.

"I felt like I was able to hit my spots," Johnson said. "I felt like my last three starts have been good starts, and I've been able to build off those."

Johnson threw 64 of his 88 pitches for strikes.

Twins starter Carlos Silva gave up one run and three hits in four innings. He struck out one and walked one.

"I seemed to have command of every pitch," Silva said. "I'm feeling better."

Game notes

Yankees right-hander Jaret Wright has been out with back spasms but is expected to throw in the bullpen Saturday and might start next week. ... Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon is slated to play in the field for the first time Saturday. He has been used as a designated hitter because of left shoulder tendinitis following the World Baseball Classic. ... Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer remains day-to-day with a strained left oblique muscle. ... Twins shortstop Juan Castro played in a minor league game, and his wrist injury has gotten better, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press