TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA (11 INNINGS)
Date: Saturday, April 5.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 3-for-6 with a double. Bobby Kielty was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, and two RBIs. Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs.
Pitching stars: Johan Santana pitched two shutout innings, giving up two walks and striking out one. LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two walks and striking out one. J. C. Romero pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Roy Halladay pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and one walk and striking out three. Carlos Delgado was 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs. Shannon Stewart was 2-for-3 with a double, three walks, and two runs. Chris Woodward was 2-for-5 with a double. Josh Phelps was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.
The game: Stewart led off the game with a double and Delgado hit a two-out RBI single to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. They had the bases loaded in the second but could not score. It looked like that would cost them, because the Twins scored two in the bottom of the second. Koskie singled and scored from first on a Doug Mientkiewicz double. Kielty followed with an RBI single and the Twins led 2-1.
Toronto again loaded the bases in the third and did not score. In the fourth, however, Stewart hit a one-out single, was balked to second, and scored on Vernon Wells' ground-rule double. Delgado followed with a run-scoring single and the Blue Jays led 3-2.
Then came a lot of missed opportunities. The Twins had two on in the fifth and a leadoff double in the sixth. The Blue Jays had two on in the seventh. The Twins had a two-out triple in the seventh. Still, the score remained 3-2 until the eighth, when Koskie walked and again scored from first on a double, this one by Kielty, tying the score 3-3.
The Twins could not cash in a leadoff double in the ninth. Toronto loaded the bases in the tenth to no avail. In the eleventh, however, Phelps hit a one-out home run to put the Blue Jays in the lead to stay. The Twins went down in order in the bottom of the eleventh.
WP: Pete Walker (1-0). LP: Eddie Guardado (0-1). S: Kelvim Escobar (1).
Notes: Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski. Denny Hocking was on second in place of Luis Rivas. Bobby Kielty was in right field in place of Dustan Mohr.
Pierzynski pinch-hit for Prince in the eighth and remained in the game at catcher. Michael Cuddyer pinch-hit for Hocking in the eleventh.
Kenny Rogers started for the Twins and pitched just four innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out two. The Twins bullpen really came through, throwing six shutout innings before the Phelps home run in the eleventh.
The real story of the game, as you may have gathered, was missed opportunities. The Twins stranded eleven and went 2-for-14 with men in scoring position. The Blue Jays stranded fifteen and went 3-for-13 with men in scoring position. The deciding run, of course, was not on a hit with men in scoring position.
There were three Blue Jays who either had or would play for the Twins: Orlando Hudson, Greg Myers, and Shannon Stewart.
Record: The Twins were 3-2, in second place in the American League Central, two games behind Kansas City.