MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Jacque Jones used to shake Doug
Mientkiewicz's hand in the dugout after a big homer. This time,
Jones could only look at his former teammate as he passed him at
Doug Mientkiewicz has been a welcome addition.
Jones hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth inning to
lead the Minnesota Twins over Boston 5-4 on Saturday, a few hours
after the clubs were involved in a four-team trade that sent
Mientkiewicz to the Red Sox."I still love him, but he's on the other team now," Jones
said. "Doug did a lot of good things over here and we're going to
miss him. I wish him the best."By the time the game started, Red Sox shortstop Nomar
Garciaparra was on a plane to join the Chicago Cubs, and
Mientkiewicz was in the starting lineup for Boston."I'm really proud of the guys out there on both teams," said
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was noticeably somber. "They
went through a lot with the trades."Today was a really hard day," he added.Jones hit his 17th homer off Alan Embree (2-2) with one out for
the go-ahead run, after Michael Cuddyer tied it with a solo shot
off Derek Lowe in the seventh.
After Gold Glove first baseman, Doug Mientkiewicz was traded by Minnesota to the Red Sox on Saturday he didn't have to go anywhere because the Red Sox and Twins were playing this weekend at the
Metrodome. Mientkiewicz was in the starting lineup for Boston,
wearing No. 13, batting sixth and playing first base.
"It's a little awkward right now, but I think it's better for everyone," said Mientkiewicz outside Boston's clubhouse about an hour before the game -- already donning his new uniform.
"It's going to be weird facing (Brad) Radke tonight," he
But when Mientkiewicz came to bat against Radke with one out in
the second inning, the crowd erupted with a standing ovation.
"I was cheering for him too, on the inside," said Torii Hunter.
Mientkiewicz grounded out to his replacement, Justin Morneau,
at first base.
The Twins won the game, 5-4, after Jacque Jones hit a go-ahead solo homer in the eighth inning. Mientkiewicz went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Morneau is far less capable in the field, but the
Twins want his powerful left-handed bat in the lineup as they push
for a third straight division title.
-- Associated Press
"He was standing there looking at me and I could tell what he
was thinking," Jones said of Mientkiewicz."I wanted to give him a forearm," Mientkiewicz said.Juan Rincon (9-3) got two outs in the eighth, and Joe Nathan
pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 30 opportunities as
the Twins won for the 10th time in 12 games.Garciaparra was already wearing his Boston jersey when manager
Terry Francona called a team meeting before the game. Then, the
news spread inside the clubhouse: The five-time All-Star shortstop
and two-time AL batting champion was headed to the Cubs."We were all surprised, but it's part of the business," Kevin
Millar said. "We've just got to go out and play."The Red Sox wound up with Orlando Cabrera, Montreal's Gold Glove
shortstop, and Mientkiewicz, while the Cubs got Garciaparra and
minor league outfielder Matt Murton. The Twins acquired left-hander
Justin Jones, a Class-A pitcher with the Cubs.Mientkiewicz was wearing his Twins gear during pregame and
talking with reporters, when bench coach Steve Liddle interrupted
the session and took him away.An hour later, Mientkiewicz was in a different uniform, wearing
No. 13 for Boston. Playing first base and batting sixth,
Mientkiewicz received a standing ovation before his first at-bat
and finished 2-for-4."The last two days here were really neat," said Mientkiewicz,
who went 3-for-3 with two RBI against Boston for the Twins on
Friday. "I won't forget it and the fans have been great to me."Johnny Damon had two hits and two RBI, and Mark Bellhorn
homered for the Red Sox.Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first on Bellhorn's 13th homer, a
solo shot off Brad Radke with one out in the first. Minnesota tied
it in the second on Corey Koskie's two-out RBI single.Koskie started a Twins' rally in the fifth with a leadoff walk.
Henry Blanco followed with an RBI double and he scored, one out
later, on Shannon Stewart's RBI double to make it 3-1.The Red Sox got a run back in the sixth when Manny Ramirez
pushed a two-out RBI single down the right-field line.Trailing 3-2, Boston scored twice in the seventh to take the
lead. Mientkiewicz led off with a single and Ricky Gutierrez's
two-out single put runners on first and second.J.C. Romero relieved Radke and promptly threw a wild pitch to
advance the runners. Damon followed with a two-run single up the
middle to make it 4-3.But the Twins quickly pulled even when Cuddyer led off the
seventh against Lowe with his eighth homer.
To replace Mientkiewicz on the roster, the Twins selected
the contract of right-handed pitcher Jesse Crain from Triple-A
Rochester of the International League. ... Stewart was at third
base with Lew Ford up in the fifth inning, when Ford lined a foul
ball off Stewart's left elbow. Stewart went down immediately and
was attended to, but stayed on base. He was then replaced by
Cuddyer to start the sixth. The team announced Stewart has a
bruised left elbow. ... Three of Boston's first basemen -- Dave
McCarty, Ortiz and Mientkiewicz -- spent significant time in the
Twins organization. The other, Millar, played at one time for the
St. Paul Saints of the Northern League.