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The Sports Xchange, Published April 17 2014

Wild finish in Game 2 caps Twins' sweep of Blue Jays

MINNEAPOLIS – Clutch with their bats so far this season, the Minnesota Twins simply left them on their shoulders Thursday in the second game of a split doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Twins batted around in a wild eighth inning, drawing eight walks and three wild pitches, scoring six runs on one hit, turning a two-run deficit into a 9-5 win at Target Field. The victory gave Minnesota the doubleheader sweep. It also moved them over .500 (8-7) for the first time this season.

Minnesota drew 12 walks in the game.

“It was a lot of fun in the dugout, because everybody was into it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I don’t know if you guys (assembled media) have seen it. Maybe in some other league, but I’ve never seen that before. That ball was flying everywhere.”

Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar entered and walked the first two players he faced. After a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Eduardo Nunez moved the runners to second and third, right-hander Sergio Santos entered and walked the only three batters he faced, throwing three wild pitches in between, turning a 5-3 Jays lead into a 6-5 deficit.

“Huge at-bat by Eduardo (Nunez) getting the bunt down and getting guys over in scoring position trying to tie it up,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “We just took advantage of their mistakes after that.”

Santos turned it over to lefty J.A. Happ, who walked the next two batters before the Twins finally got their first hit of the inning – a sharp single to right by left fielder Jason Kubel, driving in two more. Another walk by Happ followed before finally getting the final two outs of the inning.

“I’m one of the main guys to blame there,” Delabar said. “I put them in a bad situation. They’re behind me, and the hitters didn’t deserve what we did that inning. It was brutal.

“We try to go by pitch by pitch and the ball column just started filling up for us. It was just a rough one there.”

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons appeared almost stunned in his office afterwards. Asked if he recalled ever seeing anything quite like it, he said he said he couldn’t.

“No, I sure can’t,” Gibbons said. “We just couldn’t throw strikes. We didn’t pitch well all series. Sure, it’s cold, OK, but it’s cold for both sides. If you’re ever going to get to September or October for the playoffs, it’s going to be cold. It’s a crappy inning on a crappy day.”

The eight walks in an inning were the most since April 19, 1996, when the Baltimore Orioles walked eight Texas Rangers batters in one inning. It also broke a club record of seven walks issued on June 21, 1994, against the Boston Red Sox.

Casey Fein earned the win to improve to 2-0 this season, tossing an inning of scoreless relief.

Gibson shines on mound as Twins win Game 1

Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson entered spring training just hoping to make the big-league roster. He headed north as the team’s No. 5 starter, but since the start of the season he has pitched like the team’s ace.

Gibson was masterful again Thursday in the first game of a day/night doubleheader against Toronto, pitching eight shutout innings as the Twins defeated the Blue Jays 7-0 at Target Field.

Gibson kept the game scoreless through five innings, long enough for the Minnesota bats to come alive against Blue Jays right-hander RA Dickey.

Game 1

TOR ab r h bi MIN ab r h bi

Cabrera lf 4 0 0 0 Dozier 2b 4 1 1 0

Diaz cf 0 0 0 0 Mauer 1b 4 2 2 0

Kwski 2b 4 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 4 1 1 2

Butist cf 3 0 0 0 Colbllo rf 3 1 2 1

Encrncn 1b 4 0 0 0 Mstronn pr 0 0 0 0

Rasmus dh 3 0 2 0 Kubel lf 4 1 1 1

Lawrie 3b 3 0 0 0 Pinto dh 3 0 1 2

Sierra rf 3 0 0 0 Suzuki c 2 0 1 1

Thole c 3 0 2 0 Hicks cf 4 0 0 0

Goins ss 3 0 0 0 Flormon ss 4 1 1 0

Totals 30 0 4 0 Totals 32 7 10 7

Toronto 000 000 000 — 0

Minnesota 000 052 00x — 7

E—Dickey 1, Florimon 1, Kawasaki 1, Plouffe 1. LOB—Minnesota 8, Toronto 4. 2B—Colabello (7), Florimon (1), Pinto (1). CS—Thole (2).

IP H R ER BB SO

Toronto

Dickey L, 1-3 4 Zc 7 5 5 5 4

Redmond 3 Xc 3 2 0 0 3

Minnesota

Gibson W, 3-0 8 4 0 0 1 4

Swarzak 1 0 0 0 0 2

Inherited runners-scored—Redmond 2-1.

Umpires—Home, Chris Guccione; First, Eric Cooper; Second, Tom Hallion; Third, Ben May.

T—2:38. A—20,507 (42,035)

Game 2

TOR ab r h bi MIN ab r h bi

Cabrera lf 4 1 1 0 Dozier 2b 4 3 2 1

Rasmus dh 5 0 0 0 Mauer dh 3 2 0 0

Butist rf 4 2 1 1 Colbllo 1b 4 0 3 3

Encrncn 1b 3 1 2 1 Kubel lf 4 0 1 2

Navarro c 4 1 2 1 Pinto c 2 1 0 0

Lawrie 3b 5 0 1 1 Hrrmann rf 4 1 0 0

Gose cf 2 0 0 0 Nunez 3b 3 0 1 0

Goins 2b 3 0 0 0 Hicks cf 3 0 1 0

Diaz ss 3 0 1 0 Plouffe ph 0 0 0 0

Flormon pr 0 1 0 0

Escobar ss 3 0 0 0

Suzuki ph 0 0 0 0

Mstronn pr 0 1 0 0

Totals 33 5 8 4 Totals 30 9 8 6

Toronto 200 030 000 — 5

Minnesota 100 020 06x — 9

E—Deduno 1, Dozier 1. LOB—Minnesota 10, Toronto 11. 2B—Colabello 2 (9). HR—Bautista (6), Dozier (5). SB—Dozier 2 (5), Gose (1), Mastroianni (1). CS—Colabello (1).

IP H R ER BB SO

Toronto

McGowan 4 6 3 3 4 3

Loup 2 0 0 0 0 2

Wagner H, 3 Xc 1 0 0 0 0

Cecil H, 5 Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Delabar H, 3 Zc 0 2 2 2 0

Santos L, 0-1 BS, 1 0 0 3 3 3 0

Happ Xc 1 1 1 3 1

Minnesota

Pelfrey 4 Zc 4 5 4 5 1

Deduno 2 Xc 3 0 0 2 3

Fien W, 2-0 1 1 0 0 0 0

Perkins 1 0 0 0 0 1

Inherited runners-scored—Cecil 1-0, Happ 2-2, Loup 1-0, Santos 2-2, Deduno 2-2. HBP—Diaz (by Pelfrey). WP—Santos 3 (3).

Umpires—Home, Pat Hoberg; First, Tom Hallion; Second, Ben May; Third, Eric Cooper.

T—3:37. A—20,698 (42,035)