MINNESOTA 6, TORONTO 4 IN TORONTO
Date: Friday, April 11.
Batting stars: Luis Rivas was 3-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base, and two runs. Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a double. Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4. Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5.
Pitching stars: LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit. J. C. Romero struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.
Opposition star: Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles, and two RBIs.
The game: It was scoreless until the third. Tom Wilson led off with a double and Mike Bordick drew a one-out walk. Stewart then delivered an RBI double and Frank Catalanotto added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Blue Jays. The lead lasted just a half inning. Jacque Jones and Guzman started the inning with singles. Corey Koskie then hit a two-run double to tie it up. The next two batters went out, but LeCroy hit a two-out run-scoring double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.
Toronto came back in the fifth. Bordick singled and Stewart hit an RBI triple to tie the score. Catalanotto then singled to put the Blue Jays back in front at 4-3.
The Twins went into the lead to stay in the seventh. Michael Cuddyer drew a one-out walk and scored on a Rivas triple to tie it 4-4. Jones then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4 Minnesota. They added a run in the ninth. Singles by Cuddyer and Rivas put men on the corners with none out, but Cuddyer was thrown out at the plate when Jones hit a grounder to second. A Guzman infield single loaded the bases, and Koskie hit an RBI ground out. Toronto got only one hit after the sixth, a one-out seventh inning double by Stewart.
WP: Kenny Rogers (1-0). LP: Cory Lidle (1-2). S: Guardado (3).
Notes: Cuddyer remained in right field. He was replaced by Dustan Mohr in the ninth inning. That was the only positional substitution the Twins made.
Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333. He was the only regular over .300.
On the negative side, the Twins still had four regulars below .200. Torii Hunter went 0-for-5 and was batting .111. Cuddyer was 1-for-3 to raise his average to .167. LeCroy went up to .179. Rivas was up to .192.
Rogers pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. It was really a fairly typical performance for him in 2003. He wasn't awful, but he wasn't really good, either. He was generally good enough to keep the team in the game if they scored a decent number of runs.
Lidle pitched 6.1 innings for Toronto, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out nine. 2003 was the worst year of his career, as he finished 12-15, 5.75, 1.43 WHIP. It was his only year as a Blue Jay. He never really had a good year after leaving Oakland, although he had a couple of not-terrible ones and pitched well for Philadelphia down the stretch in 2004.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Twins. Could they get a winning streak going? We shall see. They did, at least, move up one spot in the standings.
Record: The Twins were 4-6, in third place in the American League Central, five games behind Kansas City, which had started the season 8-0.