PORT ST. LUCIE — Remember all that excitement and bravado after the Mets acquired Johan Santana from the Twins? Suddenly, injuries are becoming a major question mark.
The latest is leftfielder Moises Alou. He is scheduled to have surgery today for a hernia and is expected to miss most of April. That leaves six of New York's eight regulars sidelined plus one member of the rotation.
Besides Alou, the Mets are missing first baseman Carlos Delgado (right hip), rightfielder Ryan Church (concussion) and catcher Brian Schneider (hamstring). Centerfielder Carlos Beltran (both knees), second baseman Luis Castillo (right knee) and pitcher Orlando Hernandez (toe) have not played after offseason surgeries.
Then there's the bench. Ruben Gotay hurt his right ankle sliding into home Sunday, though tests didn't show a fracture. Marlon Anderson bruised his sternum Saturday in a collision with Church. Damion Easley (ankle), Endy Chavez (ankle and hamstring) and Jose Valentin (knee) haven't played.
"We're not injured. We're banged-up," said third baseman David Wright, with shortstop Jose Reyes the only healthy starters. "Opening day, if we're running out this (patchwork) lineup, that's when it's time to panic a little bit. But right now, second week of spring training, these guys are fine."
Alou's injury overshadowed a strong outing by Santana. In his second start, the two-time Cy Young winner allowed one run and struck out four over three innings against the Dodgers.
EX-RAY YOUNG HOMERS: Twins leftfielder Delmon Young, traded by the Rays in the offseason, hit his first homer for his new team.
"He's already pretty good, and he has a chance to keep working and be a really good baseball player," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's done everything we've asked. Said he'll do whatever we need him to do, and that's been the way he's gone about everything."
Young homered in his first at-bat off the Yankees' Ian Kennedy at Legends Field. Young and Kennedy came through the youth baseball ranks in Southern California. They played together on summer teams.
"We're good friends," Kennedy said. "I'll e-mail him tonight and say, 'You're welcome.' "
"I had no clue off the bat if it had enough carry," Young said. "It was my first home run since last season, so the feel wasn't there."
Also, Gardenhire said that closer Joe Nathan, who caught his ankle awkwardly last weekend, likely will return Friday.
Almost no-hitter: Seven Braves pitchers came within an out of no-hitting the Indians. Jair Jurrjens, vying to be the No. 5 starter, started with three perfect innings. In the ninth, Colter Bean walked two but had a strike on Danny Sandoval before allowing a shot off the rightfield wall.
Blue Jays: Ace Roy Halladay struck out two and allowed one hit in three scoreless innings against the Phillies. "He looked great," manager John Gibbons said.
CUBS: Relievers blew a 4-1 lead lead in the eighth of a 5-4 loss to Arizona that left Chicago with a 2-5 record in the Cactus League. "I'm getting tired of losing ball games, even in spring training," manager Lou Piniella said. Asked if the relievers were not helping their own cause, he replied: "They will soon. … I'm not sure it's going to be here."
Dodgers: Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo was scratched because of irritation in the back of his elbow, where bone chips were removed in the summer. Second baseman Jeff Kent also was scratched (strained hamstring).
Giants: Pounded for eight runs and seven hits in less than an inning in his first start, Barry Zito was much more effective against the Royals. In three innings, he allowed only two hits, including a home run.
Mariners: In his second start, Erik Bedard threw 26 of his 38 pitches for strikes and allowed one run in three innings.
Marlins: Left-hander Scott Olsen was scratched from today's start because of left shoulder tendinitis.
Nationals: Left-hander Mike Bacsik, who allowed Barry Bonds' record-breaking 756th homer, was among 16 reassigned to minor-league camp.
Padres: Saying, "I felt a lot better than I looked," Randy Wolf is not worried after getting just two outs for the second straight start. Wolf, coming off September shoulder surgery, allowed four runs to the A's.
Phillies: Brett Myers threw 31 of his 43 pitches for strikes in shutting out the Blue Jays over four innings. He allowed three hits and struck out one.
Red Sox: Bartolo Colon's second bullpen session left pitching coach John Farrell cautiously optimistic.
Royals: Gil Meche pitched three scoreless innings and hasn't allowed a run in five innings spanning two starts. Hideo Nomo, 39, out of the majors since 2005, followed with three shutout innings.
Tigers: Brandon Inge, displaced at third by the acquisition of Miguel Cabrera, started in center against the Phillies.
Yankees: Joba Chamberlain threw just 20 of 36 pitches for strikes during a two-inning relief stint. Also, a brain biopsy on broadcaster and ex-star Bobby Murcer, 61, showed no sign a tumor had reoccurred. An MRI exam last week showed an area of concern, which prompted Monday's biopsy.
Best bet of the day
Braves at Tigers, 1:05, Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
Star southpaws Tom Glavine (Braves) and Dontrelle Willis (Tigers) match up in one of the few Braves games in the surrounding area.