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Hunter's slam, six RBI power Twins' rout of Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- Torii Hunter didn't need much time to find his
stroke.

Hunter hit a grand slam and tied a career high with six RBI,
leading the Twins to a 13-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on
Wednesday night.

The former All-Star missed the final two months of last season
after breaking his left ankle and experienced soreness in it during
the spring, but the Twins need him if they're going to contend for
a playoff spot.

"I'm anxious," Hunter said. "I've been hungry all offseason
trying to get back out there, trying to get healthy. I'm still
rehabbing to this day, but I'm just happy to be out there. When you
break your ankle and you are out two months that tells you that you
don't want to retire any time soon. I'm a competitor and I want to
play and that's what you saw tonight."

Hunter went 4-for-5 and scored three runs.

His fifth career grand slam in the eighth against Jason Frasor
gave Minnesota a 12-4 lead. He had six RBI in two other games --
the last when he hit his last grand slam June 1, 2005, against
Cleveland.

Shannon Stewart and Luis Rodriguez also homered and every
starter reached base for the Twins, who are looking for more
offense this year after finishing last in the AL in runs last
season.

"I've been hearing that we don't score a lot of runs but I
think we shocked a lot of people today," Hunter said.

Last season Hunter was missed in the lineup, the field and the
clubhouse while the three-time AL Central champions faded to third
place. As the longest-tenured position player on the Twins, Hunter,
who turned 30 last July, has become a leader.

"Before I got hurt we were having fun and guys were scoring
runs," Hunter said. "Then next thing you know I got hurt and
everything just went south. I don't know if it was me or not, but
maybe it was just the spirit. It wasn't just all the production and
everything, just the spirit went down. I love these guys. They are
like my brothers, so it was tough to see."

Hunter -- in the last season of his contract -- wants to have a
30-30 season for the first time.

"This year I feel like I'm better at the plate," Hunter said.
"Every year I make adjustments."

New acquisitions Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay hit back-to-back
homers in the first inning for the Blue Jays, who beat Minnesota in
the season opener.

Attendance was just 18,156 -- a day after the Blue Jays attracted
the fourth largest crowd for a home opener.

Minnesota starter Brad Radke got off to rough start, allowing
three runs in the first. But Radke (1-0) settled down -- allowing
four runs on eight hits, while striking out two and walking none in
six innings.

"I tried to hold it to 2-0, then I tried to hold it to 3-0 and
then I tried to hold it to 4-0. It's a good thing that the fences
aren't closer to home plate because I had some luck on my side
tonight," Radke said.

Down 4-0, the Twins tied it in the fourth on five singles and
two errors.

After Hunter hit an RBI single off Josh Towers (0-1), Justin
Morneau hit a run-scoring single to center fielder Vernon Wells,
who threw wildly back into the infield allowing Morneau to reach
second.

One batter later, Jason Kubel singled off the foot of Towers,
scoring Hunter. Shortstop Russ Adams picked up the ball, but his
throw to third sailed into the dugout, allowing Morneau to score
the tying run.

Stewart led off the fifth with a homer off Towers, giving
Minnesota a 5-4 lead.

"It just got bad," Towers said. "The tough part is I gave up
a four-run lead. It was just a poor turnaround and bad effort on my
part."

Stewart -- a former Blue Jay -- homered off Halladay on Tuesday.
He was shocked when fans threw things at him when he was in left
field in the opener.

Rondell White's sacrifice fly, Hunter's RBI single and Vinnie
Chulk's run-scoring wild pitch gave Minnesota an 8-4 lead in the
seventh.

Frank Catalanotto, who entered the game hitting .429 against
Radke, doubled in the first and scored on Glaus' homer. Overbay
followed with his drive to give Toronto a 3-0 lead. Glaus added an
RBI single in the third.

Towers allowed five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits in 4 2-3
innings.

He tied for the team lead with 13 wins and led the Blue Jays
with 208 2-3 innings last season. He also posted career bests in
ERA (3.71), strikeouts (112) and complete games (two).

Game notes
Glaus went 3-for-4 with three RBI. ... The Blue Jays hit
back-to-back homers for the first time since Orlando Hudson and
Adams did it August 21, 2005 at Chicago. ... Rodriguez hit his
first career pinch-hit homer, a solo shot off Justin Speier in the
ninth.