TORONTO 8, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, April 6.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a double. Chris Gomez was 2-for-4. Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4.
Pitching stars: Juan Rincon struck out six in five shutout innings of relief, giving up one hit. Tony Fiore pitched a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Cory Lidle struck out seven in seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk. Frank Catalanotto was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Carlos Delgado was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), two runs, and four RBIs. Chris Woodward was 2-for-4 with two runs. Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.
The game: In the first inning Catalanotto singled and Delgado hit a two-run homer, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. Not to worry: Brad Radke was pitching, and we expect him to give up a couple of runs in the first, then settle down. Unfortunately, this day he did not settle down.
He got Toronto out in order in the second. In the third, however, the Blue Jays started the inning with singles by Woodward, Stewart, and Catalanotto, loading the bases. Vernon Wells walked to force in a run. Delgado delivered a two-run single. The next two batters went out, but Greg Myers singled home a run to make it 6-0.
The fourth was no better for Radke. Woodward singled, Stewart doubled, and Catalanotto hit a two-run double to put Toronto up 8-0. At that point, Ron Gardenhire pulled Radke and brought in Rincon, who brought some order to the game. He actually pitched very well, but it was simply too late/
The Twins did little offensively. Their lone run came in the sixth, when Jones doubled and Gomez singled him home. The Twins had two on with none out in the seventh and loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but could not dent the plate either time.
WP: Lidle (1-1). LP: Radke (1-1). S: None.
Notes: Gomez was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman. Kielty was in left, with Jones at DH. Dustan Mohr was in center in place of Torii Hunter. Michael Cuddyer was in right.
Denny Hocking went to third base in the seventh inning in place of Corey Koskie.
Koskie was 1-for-3 and was batting .462. Kielty was batting .375. Jones was batting .360.
On the other end of the scale, Luis Rivas was batting .143.
Radke allowed eight runs on ten hits and a walk in just three innings. He struck out two. By game scores it was his worst game of the season.
On the other hand, Rincon pitched really well. This was easily his longest outing of the season. He had been a starter in the minors, though, and that's mostly where he had been prior to this season, so a five-inning appearance would not have been that strange to him at the time.
He didn't make a big deal out of it, but I think Herb Carneal really enjoyed saying the name "Frank Catalanotto".
After sweeping the Tigers on the road to start the season, the Twins were swept at home by Toronto. Not to worry, though. Their next series would be on the road against the Yankees.
Record: The Twins were 3-3, tied for second with Chicago in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.