The Twins batted around in a wild eighth inning, drawing eight
walks and three wild pitches, scoring six runs on one hit, turning a
two-run deficit into a 9-5 win at Target Field. The victory gave
Minnesota the doubleheader sweep as the Twins shut out the Blue Jays
7-0 in the first game. It also moved them over .500 (8-7) for the
first time this season.
Minnesota drew 12 walks in the game.
"It was a lot of fun in the dugout, because everybody was into it,"
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't know if you guys
(assembled media) have seen it. Maybe in some other league, but I've
never seen that before. That ball was flying everywhere."
Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar entered and walked the first two
players he faced. After a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Eduardo
Nunez moved the runners to second and third, right-hander Sergio
Santos entered and walked the only three batters he faced, throwing
three wild pitches in between, turning a 5-3 Jays lead into a 6-5
"Huge at-bat by Eduardo (Nunez) getting the bunt down and getting
guys over in scoring position trying to tie it up," Twins second
baseman Brian Dozier said. "We just took advantage of their mistakes
Santos turned it over to lefty J.A. Happ, who walked the next two
batters before the Twins finally got their first hit of the inning — a sharp single to right by left fielder Jason Kubel, driving in
two more. Another walk by Happ followed before finally getting the
final two outs of the inning.
"I'm one of the main guys to blame there," Delabar said. "I put them
in a bad situation, they're behind me and the hitters didn't deserve
what we did that inning. It was brutal.
"We try to go by pitch by pitch and the ball column just started
filling up for us. It was just a rough one there."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons appeared almost stunned in his office
afterwards. Asked if he recalled ever seeing anything quite like it,
he said he said he couldn't.
"No, I sure can't," Gibbons said. "We just couldn't throw strikes.
We didn't pitch well all series. Sure, it's cold, OK, but it's cold
for both sides. If you're ever going to get to September or October
for the playoffs, it's going to be cold. It's a crappy inning on a
The eight walks in an inning were the most since April 19, 1996,
when the Baltimore Orioles walked eight Texas Rangers batters in one
inning. It also broke a club record of seven walks issued on June
21, 1994, against the Boston Red Sox.
Casey Fein earned the win to improve to 2-0 this season, tossing an
inning of scoreless relief. Santos, who threw only four strikes on
16 pitches, took the loss.
"It just blew up on us," Gibbons said. "It was an ugly night and we
were sitting good at one time."
Early on, the Blue Jays took looked poised to win the three-game
series, taking advantage of yet another erratic outing from Twins
starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey. Toronto scored two runs in the first
and three more in the fifth to open up a 5-1 lead.
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Pelfrey was in trouble early and often, walking leadoff batter Melky
Cabrera to start the game. Cabrera came around to score on first
baseman Edwin Encarnacion's RBI single later in the frame. A
sacrifice fly by catcher Dioner Navarro gave the Jays a 2-0 through
The Twins cut the lead in half on a leadoff homer by Dozier, his
fifth home run of the season.
Pelfrey labored through the next three innings before running out of
gas in the fifth, allowing a solo home run to right fielder Jose
Bautista, a walk to Encarnacion and a long single off the wall in
right to Navarro. Encarnacion and Navarro ended up scoring later in
Pelfrey entered the night with a 7.84 ERA, and it rose to 7.98 after
he allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits while walking five.
He also hit a batter and struck out one in 4 1/3 innings.
Despite the shaking outing, Pelfrey lasted longer than Jays starter
The Twins opened off the fifth with a single by Dozier and a walk by
designated hitter Joe Mauer. First baseman Chris Colabello drove
them both in with an RBI double, slicing Toronto's lead to 5-3.
McGowan pitched four-plus innings, allowing six hits, four walks and
NOTES: Twins 2B Brian Dozier's leadoff home run in the first was the
sixth of his career and his third of the season. ... Minnesota INF
Eduardo Nunez, acquired in a trade from the New York Yankees on
April 7, made his debut with his new team, starting at third base
and batting seventh. Nunez was called up as the Twins' 26th player
eligible for Thursday's nightcap. ... Twins CF Aaron Hicks, who
singled in the second inning, reached base safely for the eighth
consecutive game. ... Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista walked in the first
inning, extending his on-base streak to all 16 games this season.
His home run in the fifth inning was his sixth of the season,
breaking a tie with Dozier for the American League lead. The homer
was the 11th of his career at Target Field. ... Toronto RHP Sergio
Santos blew the Jays' first save of the season. ... The Twins
improved to 11-3 in doubleheaders since the start of 2012. They have
won both games of the twin-bill on five of seven occasions.
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