Twins 7, Blue Jays 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The Minnesota Twins are getting good at this come-from-behind thing.
Minnesota has rallied for 10 of its 13 wins this season and the Twins improved to 9-6 when their opponents score first. This time, they were down three runs in the eighth inning.
“We always make it interesting,” Jones said. “It’d be nice to get a five- or six-run lead and not have to come back. But it doesn’t matter how we win, as long as we win.”
“We kept battling. We kept getting guys on and we came through in the end,” Jones said.
Shannon Stewart led off the ninth with a single on a hard grounder that third baseman Chris Gomez couldn’t handle. He advanced to third on Doug Mientkiewicz’s single to right and scored two batters later when Hunter singled up the middle to make it 4-all.
“The Twins are always capable of doing that,” Toronto’s Vernon Wells said. “That’s why they’re the team that they are, and the team they’ve been for the last couple of years. They never die.”
Juan Rincon (3-0) worked two scoreless innings for the win.
Toronto, which had its three-game winning streak snapped, blew a 4-1 lead in the eighth and spoiled seven solid innings by Miguel Batista, who is winless in five starts this season.
Batista, who showed some of the poise that helped him win 10 games last season with Arizona, left after walking Corey Koskie to lead off the eighth.
“The only thing you can do is watch,” Batista said. “They’re a very aggressive team. … They can hurt you.”
Batista allowed two runs and five hits and got some help from Wells, who made two great catches in center field.
Reed Johnson had three hits and two RBIs for the Blue Jays.
But the Twins started their rally in the eighth when Kerry Ligtenberg relieved Batista with Koskie on base. Ligtenberg gave up a single to Jones, and a double to Lew Ford, who had three hits and two RBIs, to pull Minnesota to 4-3.
Speier (1-2) came in for Ligtenberg and got Ryan to fly out to center.
Twins starter Johan Santana had a season-high eight strikeouts after a rocky start. Santana worked seven innings, allowing four runs and eight hits.
“Once he got into a nice rhythm, he was fantastic and I think he found out something about himself tonight,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Blue Jays got to Santana early. After leading off the game with a single, Johnson scored when Jones bobbled Gomez’s hit in the outfield for an error. Two batters later, Carlos Delgado doubled to make it 2-0.
Johnson drove in Cash again in the fourth to put Toronto up 4-0.
“I was frustrated early because I was hitting the spots and they were getting hits anyway,” Santana said.
Minnesota scored in the fifth when Hunter’s sharp single to left scored Luis Rivas with two outs. But Batista got out of the inning when Wells robbed Jones of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch at the wall.
Wells made another impressive catch at the wall in the sixth, this time on awould-be home run by Blanco.
Jones also made a couple of nice plays in the outfield. He made a catch at the wall on a deep fly by Chris Woodward. Jones also got Woodward out in the fourth in foul territory in front of the Toronto bullpen. … The Blue Jays hadwon four straight games at the Metrodome.