Twins 5, Boston 4

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Jacque Jones used to shake Doug Mientkiewicz’s hand in the dugout after a big homer. This time, Jones could only look at his former teammate as he passed him at first base.

Jones hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth inning to lead the Minnesota Twins over Boston 5-4 on Saturday, a few hours after the clubs were involved in a four-team trade that sent Mientkiewicz to the Red Sox.

“I still love him, but he’s on the other team now,” Jones said. “Doug did a lot of good things over here and we’re going to miss him. I wish him the best.”

By the time the game started, Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra was on a plane to join the Chicago Cubs, and Mientkiewicz was in the starting lineup for Boston.

“I’m really proud of the guys out there on both teams,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was noticeably somber. “They went through a lot with the trades.

“Today was a really hard day,” he added.

Jones hit his 17th homer off Alan Embree (2-2) with one out for the go-ahead run, after Michael Cuddyer tied it with a solo shot off Derek Lowe in the seventh.

“He was standing there looking at me and I could tell what he was thinking,” Jones said of Mientkiewicz.

“I wanted to give him a forearm,” Mientkiewicz said.

Juan Rincon (9-3) got two outs in the eighth, and Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 30 opportunities as the Twins won for the 10th time in 12 games.

Garciaparra was already wearing his Boston jersey when manager Terry Francona called a team meeting before the game. Then, the news spread inside the clubhouse: The five-time All-Star shortstop and two-time AL batting champion was headed to the Cubs.

“We were all surprised, but it’s part of the business,” Kevin Millar said. “We’ve just got to go out and play.”

The Red Sox wound up with Orlando Cabrera, Montreal’s Gold Glove shortstop, and Mientkiewicz, while the Cubs got Garciaparra and minor league outfielder Matt Murton. The Twins acquired left-hander Justin Jones, a Class-A pitcher with the Cubs.

Mientkiewicz was wearing his Twins gear during pregame and talking with reporters, when bench coach Steve Liddle interrupted the session and took him away.

An hour later, Mientkiewicz was in a different uniform, wearing No. 13 for Boston. Playing first base and batting sixth, Mientkiewicz received a standing ovation before his first at-bat and finished 2-for-4.

“The last two days here were really neat,” said Mientkiewicz, who went 3-for-3 with two RBIs against Boston for the Twins on Friday. “I won’t forget it and the fans have been great to me.”

Johnny Damon had two hits and two RBIs, and Mark Bellhorn homered for the Red Sox.

Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first on Bellhorn’s 13th homer, a solo shot off Brad Radke with one out in the first. Minnesota tied it in the second on Corey Koskie’s two-out RBI single.

Koskie started a Twins’ rally in the fifth with a leadoff walk. Henry Blanco followed with an RBI double and he scored, one out later, on Shannon Stewart’s RBI double to make it 3-1.

The Red Sox got a run back in the sixth when Manny Ramirez pushed a two-out RBI single down the right-field line.

Trailing 3-2, Boston scored twice in the seventh to take the lead. Mientkiewicz led off with a single and Ricky Gutierrez’s two-out single put runners on first and second.

J.C. Romero relieved Radke and promptly threw a wild pitch to advance the runners. Damon followed with a two-run single up the middle to make it 4-3.

But the Twins quickly pulled even when Cuddyer led off the seventh against Lowe with his eighth homer.


To replace Mientkiewicz on the roster, the Twins selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Jesse Crain from Triple-A Rochester of the International League. … Stewart was at third base with Lew Ford up in the fifth inning, when Ford lined a foul ball off Stewart’s left elbow. Stewart went down immediately and was attended to, but stayed on base. He was then replaced by Cuddyer to start the sixth. The team announced Stewart has a bruised left elbow. … Three of Boston’s first basemen—Dave McCarty, Ortiz and Mientkiewicz—spent significant time in the Twins organization. The other, Millar, played at one time for the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League.

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