Twins 9, Blue Jays 5
TORONTO (AP)—Jacque Jones just wanted to advance the runner when he hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning.
After Hunter led off the ninth with a double, Jones hit a 1-1 pitch off Micheal Nakamura (0-2). Jones’ seventh homer gave the Twins a 7-5 lead.
“I just wanted to get Torii over, to be honest,” Jones said. “You never hit homers when you try to. It was a short, quick swing.”
Minnesota left fielder Shannon Stewart returned to Toronto for the first time since being traded by the Blue Jays to the Twins last July. He went 1-for-4 before leaving the game in the ninth because of plantar fascia in his left foot.
He’s day to day.
“I just told them to take me out because it does me no good to be limping out there,” Stewart said. “I hurt it the other day on a collision at home plate. If I reaggravate it, the doctor told me to be careful because I could be out for a long time.”
Stewart received no reaction from the announced crowd of 13,502 upon being introduced during his first plate appearance.
Frank Menechino went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost five of seven.
Toronto starter Ted Lilly allowed five runs, including two home runs. Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said Lilly might have been tipping his changeup.
“When they’re on the pitch that much, it makes you think a little bit about whether they’re seeing something,” Tosca said.
Hunter and Jones denied knowing anything.
“We don’t know nothing about him tipping his pitches,” Hunter said. “Nice excuse though.”
Toronto designated hitter Simon Pond singled in the seventh for his first major league hit. Pond, a Canadian, started 0-for-13 this season.
Down 5-2, the Blue Jays rallied to tie it in the seventh. Menechino chased starter Brad Radke with an RBI double, Cash hit a run-scoring double off J.C. Romero, and second baseman Luis Rivas failed to turn a potential inning-ending double play, allowing Cash to score the tying run.
Gardenhire got the ground ball he was looking for, but Rivas’ throw to second base forced Guzman, the shortstop, to dive for the ball. Guzman got the out, but couldn’t throw to first.
“That should have been a double play,” Gardenhire said. “That was really disappointing”
Menechino hit an RBI single in the second, but Stewart drove in a run with a double in the third.
Ford’s two-run homer off Ted Lilly in the fourth gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead.
Toronto’s Frank Catalanotto hit an RBI double in the fifth, but Hunter hithis two-run shot in the sixth to make it 5-2.
Minnesota third baseman Corey Koskie is on the 15-day disabled with a strained sternum. “We’re not used to those type of injuries in baseball,” Gardenhire said. Injured sternums are more common in football, where players are vulnerable to hard hits in the chest area. The Twins don’t know how Koskie was injured. … Minnesota first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz argued with plate umpire Paul Emmell after being called out on strikes in the sixth. A couple ofteammates had to hold Mientkiewicz back.