for this game

Stairs hits go-ahead homer as Jays top Twins

Jun 26, 2007 - 4:38 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Matt Stairs hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning and Vernon Wells drove in three runs to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to an 8-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

Stairs' homer was his third in Toronto's last six games and broke a 5-5 tie, ending Minnesota reliever Matt Guerrier's scoreless streak at 14 innings.

Wells finished a triple short of the cycle, hit his third home run in the Blue Jays' last four games and drove in three runs for the second straight contest to give Toronto the victory in the first of a four-game series and its fourth straight win overall.

"Its a nice way to start a long road trip," Stairs said. "Matt has pitched well for those guys all year and I think he wanted a fastball inside and it just tailed back over the plate and I was fortunate to barrel it and hit it out of the ball park."

The late runs made a winner out of ace Roy Halladay (9-2), who allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks in seven innings. Halladay struck out four and won his fourth consecutive start despite being far from sharp.

Relievers Scott Downs and Casey Janssen combined to throw a scoreless eighth inning, and Jeremy Accardo recorded his ninth save in 11 chances in the ninth.

"It was a battle for Doc tonight," manager John Gibbons said. "He never could really get his curveball going. And they attacked him and put good at-bats on him. When they get on base, they can run you out of the park."

Minnesota manufactured a run in the second inning, beginning when Torii Hunter drew a one-out walk. Hunter then stole second base when Halladay looked away for too long, throwing back to first base with Hunter already more than half-way to second. The steal proved crucial, as Jason Kubel grounded what would have been a double-play ball to second base and Mike Redmond followed with a chopper up the middle to score Hunter from third base.

But Toronto's offense bounced back in the third inning thanks in part to shaky Twins defense.

Minnesota rookie starter Kevin Slowey struck out the first two batters to start the inning, but Blue Jays shortstop John McDonald ended up on second base after swinging through strike three after first baseman Jeff Cirillo dropped the throw from Redmond. Wells immediately hit a two-run home run and Alex Rios followed with a solo shot to give Toronto back-to-back homers for the third time this season.

Slowey has allowed nine home runs in five starts this season, including seven in his last three starts. He has allowed four earned runs in three of his last four outings.

"A lot of fastballs," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's not slowing the ball down enough right now. He had good control on the outer half, but you can't live in this league with fastballs."

But the lead was short-lived, as Halladay gave up a pair of runs an inning later.

After Michael Cuddyer drew a walk to lead off the fourth inning, Hunter doubled, Kubel grounded out to first base to score Cuddyer and Redmond hit his second RBI single of the game to plate Hunter and knot the score at 3-3.

Toronto responded the next half-inning with Adam Lind and McDonald hitting back-to-back singles and Wells getting his third hit of the game to plate Lind and send McDonald to third. Rios followed with a sacrifice fly, giving the Blue Jays their second two-run advantage of the game.

"Offensively we've really swung the bats well the last few games," Halladay said. "Its a nice thing going out there knowing you don't always have to be perfect. You can grind your way through some of those and we'll still find a way."

But once again Minnesota fought back to tie the score off Halladay in the fifth inning, with Luis Castillo and Jason Bartlett hitting back-to-back one-out singles to start the rally.

Bartlett stole second base to put runners on second and third, and Halladay threw a wild pitch to Joe Mauer, allowing Castillo to score. Catcher Gregg Zaun tried to flip the ball to Halladay with Castillo sliding across home plate, but the throw was off the mark, allowing Bartlett to score as well.

After Juan Rincon threw a scoreless sixth inning and the normally steady Guerrier (1-3) retired the side in order in the seventh, but Toronto put up a three-run inning again in the eighth.

Rios doubled to lead off the inning and Stairs' second home run in three games gave the Blue Jays a two-run advantage. After getting Troy Glaus to ground out, Guerrier hit Frank Thomas and allowed back-to-back singles to Zaun and Aaron Hill to load the bases. Lind hit a sacrifice fly off Dennys Reyes to give Toronto its final run.

Gardenhire said after the game that he has needed his bullpen too much recently would like to see his starters get deeper into games. Guerrier retorted, "not at all," however, when asked if the relievers have been overworked.

"I feel fine," Guerrier said. "It was the wrong time. If we're down by a couple and I give up some runs, its not really a big deal. But a game like today where we come back and score some runs off Halladay, you want to win that game. It's frustrating for me."

Rios finished 3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and a steal for the Blue Jays.

Hunter went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and a steal.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 3 0 8 11 1
    MINNESOTA 0 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 5 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, SCOTT DOWNS (8TH), CASEY JANSSEN (8TH), JEREMY
    ACCARDO (9TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    MIN - KEVIN SLOWEY, JUAN RINCON (6TH), MATT GUERRIER
    (7TH), DENNYS

    Jun 25 11:04 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ADAM LIND SCORED CURTIS THIGPEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A HILL ON FIRST, G ZAUN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 8
    MINNESOTA 5 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J MCDONALD (.295, 1-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 10:34 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (12) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF MATT GUERRIER SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 7, MINNESOTA 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: T GLAUS (.291, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 10:24 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY GREGG ZAUN ALLOWED JASON BARTLETT TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.315, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY ROY HALLADAY ALLOWED LUIS CASTILLO TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.315, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX RIOS SCORED JOHN MCDONALD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M STAIRS (.303, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 9:33 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, J MCDONALD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    MINNESOTA 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.288, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 9:30 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J CIRILLO (.269, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 9:20 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JASON KUBEL SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HUNTER ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M REDMOND (.302, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 9:20 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (17) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF KEVIN SLOWEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M STAIRS (.305, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 8:52 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY VERNON WELLS (9) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF KEVIN SLOWEY SCORED JOHN MCDONALD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.286, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 8:51 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J CIRILLO (.271, 1 HR, 15 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 8:41 PM
  • Timmler Big Hurt about to get 500 HR's

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 5:41 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Timmler Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 25 5:40 PM