for this game

Twins' Hunter spoils 500th career homer by Thomas

Jun 28, 2007 - 10:08 PM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Frank Thomas got his milestone home run, but the Minnesota Twins' Torii Hunter provided a little power of his own.

Hunter hit two home runs and Carlos Silva overcame a tough beginning to pitch seven innings as Minnesota beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-5, to earn the split in the four-game series at the Metrodome.

Thomas connected on a 1-2 pitch for his 500th home run during a four-run first innings, a 396-foot three-run blast to left center field.

However, Hunter would steal a little bit of Thomas' thunder in this one, as he hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and added a two-run shot an inning later, snapping a 5-5 tie.

"You can't upstage a 500 home run guy," Hunter said. "I would be happy if I just got to 300."

Toronto jumped on Silva (6-8) at the start.

Alex Rios started the game with a single to right field, went to second on a walk by Vernon Wells and scored on Matt Stairs' single up the middle. Thomas followed with his memorable home run for a 4-0 lead.

"I can tell you, it means a lot to me," Thomas said. "I know what it takes to get to 500 home runs. It was a lot of work."

The 39-year-old designated hitter became the 21st player in history to reach the coveted mark, and the first since Ken Griffey Jr. in 2004.

From there, Silva would settle down. He finished with five runs and six hits allowed in winning for the third time in four starts.

"It was very tough to open the game like that," Silva said. "I was pitching around too much, like I didn't want to throw anything right over the plate. After the third inning is when I started throwing, made the hitters hit the ball."

The sinkerballer also struck out four before yielding to righthander Juan Rincon, who pitched a scoreless eighth.

"Carlos was really the story here," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He gave up some runs early, but we needed him to go deep into the game. He really pitched well as the game went along and gave us a chance to get back in the game."

Closer Joe Nathan fanned two batters in the ninth to record his 15th save.

Nathan fanned Thomas looking to begin the inning. The former two-time American League MVP was not happy with the call, eventually getting ejected from the game by home plate umpire Mark Wegner after arguing from the dugout.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was also tossed after coming to the plate in defense of his player.

"I think you can see that I still care," Thomas said. "The game wasn't over in my opinion and I am up there to battle. I am probably the first one to get 500 home runs and get thrown out of the ballgame."

Despite the early deficit, Minnesota would peck away against Toronto starter A.J. Burnett.

Jason Tyner opened the bottom of the first with a single, and later scored on a single by Michael Cuddyer. Jason Bartlett hit a leadoff home run in the third, and Hunter would add his first starting off the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-3.

"You can't give up," Hunter said. "You're just going to go out there and keep banging, keep doing what you are doing and if it doesn't work out, fine. It worked out for us today."

Burnett, making his first start since being activated from the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain, allowed five runs and six hits while striking out six. He left the game after allowing two straight singles to Tyner and Bartlett leading off the fifth inning.

Jason Frasor (1-3) would allow both of those inherited runners to score on a pair of groundouts by Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Hunter then followed with his second home run to break the brief tie.

It was the eighth multi-homer game of Hunter's career, and the first since May 13 against Detroit.

Frasor gave up two runs, one hit and a walk in his only inning of work.

"We had a 5-1 lead, but about the third inning, I started having a bad feeling about it," Gibbons said. "And, then they took it to us late. Burnett wasn't real sharp."

Toronto entered the game having won five of its last six games.








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

    BATTERIES: TOR - A.J. BURNETT, JASON FRASOR (5TH), JORDAN DEJONG (6TH) AND
    JASON PHILLIPS
    MIN - CARLOS SILVA, JUAN RINCON (8TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH)
    AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: T

    Jun 28 3:45 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON TYNER SCORED LUIS RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J TYNER ON FIRST, N PUNTO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 8 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J BARTLETT (.259, 2-FOR-2, HBP, HR, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 3:02 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TORII HUNTER (17) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JASON FRASOR SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5, MINNESOTA 7
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.250, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 2:47 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CUDDYER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.305, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 2:46 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JOE MAUER SCORED JASON TYNER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.291, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 2:40 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TORII HUNTER (16) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF A.J. BURNETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5, MINNESOTA 3
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.251, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 2:17 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON BARTLETT (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF A.J. BURNETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5, MINNESOTA 2
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.309, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 2:01 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F THOMAS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.275, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 1:56 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED JASON TYNER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON FIRST, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.278, 20 HR, 57 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 1:33 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - A.J. BURNETT
    MIN - CARLOS SILVA

    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J TYNER (.276, 0 HR, 13 RBI)
    J BARTLETT (.252, 1 HR, 19 RBI)
    J MAUER (.310, 3 HR, 25 RB

    Blue Jays vs. TwinsJun 28 1:24 PM