Friday, April 18, 2014
Sports News

Twins Cap Doubleheader Sweep Of Jays

Send a link to a friend  Share

[April 18, 2014]  MINNEAPOLIS  Clutch with their bats so far this season, the Minnesota Twins simply left them on their shoulders Thursday in the second game of a split doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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 deficit.

"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 after that."


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 crappy day."

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.

[to top of second column]

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 a half-inning.

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 the inning.

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 Dustin McGowan.

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 three runs.

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.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top