TORONTO -- Delmon Young didn't bother wearing the T-shirt designed to pump up his All-Star hopes. He let his bat state the case instead.
Young had three hits and scored the go-ahead run on Denard Span's single in the eighth inning and the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Tuesday night.With Young one of five American Leaguers in the running for the Final Vote contest, the Twins gave their players gray T-shirts that read "Drive In Delmon" on the front and "Vote For Delmon" on the back, with many wearing them before the game.The man in question, however, stuck with the somewhat tattered "Eastbound and Down" T-shirt he's been wearing for batting practice all season."This is my lucky shirt," he explained.Young is up against Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young and Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis. Results are due Thursday."Just keep voting," urged Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We're doing it on our computers and I hope everybody is doing the same thing. He's had just a tremendous first half, RBIs, the whole package. We're doing everything we can. Just keep voting for him because he's really playing."Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer is pulling for Young to earn his first All-Star nod."He deserves it," Cuddyer said. "He's come a long way in the three years that he's been here. He's playing for the team, and that's what's big. I know he's having individual success but it's not what's driving him. What's driving him is winning games and he's carrying us by knocking in runs."Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel each homered for the Twins, before Young led off the eighth with a single off Jason Frasor (3-2). After Nick Punto sacrificed Young to second, Scott Downs came on to face Span and allowed his RBI single to center.Young went 3-for-3 with an RBI and an intentional walk and is batting .363 since June 3."I'm just getting lucky," Young said. "The first base hit could have been a diving play and the last one could have ended up right in his glove, too. It takes a bit of luck. You can hit the ball hard and have nothing to show for it or you can hit four nubbers and have four base hits. You just have to take what's given to you."While Young may be content to chalk his success up to fate, Kubel is still jealous."I wish I could get some of that luck," he said with a laugh.Jose Mijares (1-0) retired two batters for the win, Jesse Crain worked the eighth and Jon Rauch finished in the ninth for his 19th save.Edwin Encarnacion, Lyle Overbay and Dewayne Wise homered for the Blue Jays, who lead the major leagues with 123, but Toronto still lost for the 12th time in 15 games. The Blue Jays came in having won 15-of-19 against the Twins."They're a big home run hitting team and they put some in the seats but we kind of matched them," Gardenhire said.Minnesota opened the scoring with two runs in the second. Jim Thome drove in the first with a grounder and Young followed with an RBI single.Toronto's Fred Lewis cut the deficit to 2-1 with a two-out double in the third.The Blue Jays made it 5-2 with a four-run fifth. Overbay led off with a homer, Lewis hit an RBI single and Wise drilled a two-run blast to right.The Twins tied it 5-all with a three-run, bat-around sixth inning, chasing Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch. Morneau and Kubel got the rally started with back-to-back homers, the third time this season the Twins have hit consecutive drives.Litsch left after Cuddyer singled and Thome doubled, and reliever Brian Tallet loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Young. One out later, Span drove in a run when he walked on a 3-2 pitch."To be able to answer them in that inning was huge," Cuddyer said.Mauer led off the seventh with a drive to center, but Encarnacion tied it with a first-pitch homer to left in the bottom half.Twins right-hander Carl Pavano gave up six runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings and has not lost in six starts. He walked none and struck out two.Litsch allowed five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, walked two and struck out none. He is winless in five starts since coming off the disabled list June 9.
Outfielder Vernon Wells and second baseman Aaron Hill did not start for Toronto, suffering from flu-like symptoms, but Wells pinch-hit in the ninth. Wise started in center and made two fine running catches, while Nick Green played second. ... Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy was held out of the starting lineup but came on to play defense in the ninth.