Series: Game 1 of 3

Minnesota leads 1-0 (as of 5/17)

Game 1: Monday, May 17
Game 2: Tuesday, May 18
Game 3: Wednesday, May 19

Twins 9

(23-14, 10-9 away)

Blue Jays 5

(16-23, 8-12 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 17, 2004

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 001202004 9 13 0
    TOR 010010300 5 9 1

    W: J. Rincon (6-2)

    L: M. Nakamura (0-2)

    S: A. Fultz (1)

    Jones hits two-run homer in ninth

    TORONTO (AP) -- Jacque Jones just wanted to advance the runner when he hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning.

    That shot lifted Minnesota to a 9-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. Lew Ford and Torii Hunter also homered for the Twins, who have won six of seven.

    After Hunter led off the ninth with a double, Jones hit a 1-1 pitch off Micheal Nakamura (0-2). Jones' seventh homer gave the Twins a 7-5 lead.

    "I just wanted to get Torii over, to be honest," Jones said. "You never hit homers when you try to. It was a short, quick swing."

    Michael Cuddyer later scored on catcher Kevin Cash's error, and Cristian Guzman added an RBI single to make it 9-5.

    Juan Rincon (6-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win. Aaron Fultz came on to record the final out for his first save of the season.

    Minnesota left fielder Shannon Stewart returned to Toronto for the first time since being traded by the Blue Jays to the Twins last July. He went 1-for-4 before leaving the game in the ninth because of plantar fascia in his left foot.

    He's day to day.

    "I just told them to take me out because it does me no good to be limping out there," Stewart said. "I hurt it the other day on a collision at home plate. If I reaggravate it, the doctor told me to be careful because I could be out for a long time."

    Stewart received no reaction from the announced crowd of 13,502 upon being introduced during his first plate appearance.

    Frank Menechino went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost five of seven.

    Toronto starter Ted Lilly allowed five runs, including two home runs. Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said Lilly might have been tipping his changeup.

    "When they're on the pitch that much, it makes you think a little bit about whether they're seeing something," Tosca said.

    Hunter and Jones denied knowing anything.

    "We don't know nothing about him tipping his pitches," Hunter said. "Nice excuse though."

    Toronto designated hitter Simon Pond singled in the seventh for his first major league hit. Pond, a Canadian, started 0-for-13 this season.

    Down 5-2, the Blue Jays rallied to tie it in the seventh. Menechino chased starter Brad Radke with an RBI double, Cash hit a run-scoring double off J.C. Romero, and second baseman Luis Rivas failed to turn a potential inning-ending double play, allowing Cash to score the tying run.

    Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire elected to intentionally walk right-handed hitter Vernon Wells so Romero, a left-hander, could face Carlos Delgado, also a lefty.

    Gardenhire got the ground ball he was looking for, but Rivas' throw to second base forced Guzman, the shortstop, to dive for the ball. Guzman got the out, but couldn't throw to first.

    "That should have been a double play," Gardenhire said. "That was really disappointing"

    Menechino hit an RBI single in the second, but Stewart drove in a run with a double in the third.

    Ford's two-run homer off Ted Lilly in the fourth gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead.

    Toronto's Frank Catalanotto hit an RBI double in the fifth, but Hunter hit his two-run shot in the sixth to make it 5-2.

    Game notes

    Minnesota third baseman Corey Koskie is on the 15-day disabled with a strained sternum. "We're not used to those type of injuries in baseball," Gardenhire said. Injured sternums are more common in football, where players are vulnerable to hard hits in the chest area. The Twins don't know how Koskie was injured. ... Minnesota first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz argued with plate umpire Paul Emmell after being called out on strikes in the sixth. A couple of teammates had to hold Mientkiewicz back.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press