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Jones hits two-run homer in ninth

5/18/2004

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.