for this game

Halladay gets the better of the Twins again

May 15, 2008 - 5:04 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - With just 15 stolen bases to his name since the start of the 2005 season, Scott Rolen isn't exactly known for his baserunning prowess. But his ugly, yet effective work on the basepaths in the eighth-inning ultimately led to a Toronto Blue Jays victory.

Nursing a one-run lead over the Minnesota Twins, Rolen was caught off second base by reliever Jesse Crain, fell down, but wound up scoring on a throwing error and accounting for the game-winning run as Toronto topped the Twins, 6-5, on Thursday at the Metrodome.

Matt Stairs contributed a first-inning grand slam and Roy Halladay threw a workmanlike 6 2/3 innings on his 31st birthday to help the Blue Jays win their third straight game and clinch the three-game series with a sweep in their sights for Thursday.

"He gave me a couple different looks and I thought it was a pretty important run and thought I had a shot at taking one on him," Rolen said. "So obviously I tried to cheat on him a little bit and he held on me. The third baseman was back so I thought I could go ahead anyway. He threw the ball away and that's when the fun began."

Rolen fell as Crain stepped off the mound, but rather than run him down, Crain attempted to throw to Mike Lamb as he ran back to third base - he was playing nearly between second and third with the lefthanded Stairs at the plate. But Crain's throw was well behind Lamb and the relay throw from Delmon Young was too late to get Rolen at home.

Jason Kubel doubled in Justin Morneau in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the deficit to one, but Rolen's run ultimately proved too much to overcome.

Scott Downs pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his fifth save of the season and second in the last two days. Closer B.J. Ryan, coming off "Tommy John" surgery last April, had pitched the previous two nights.

A night after poor play in the field cost the Twins in a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays, manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't pleased.

"It happens, we're not immune to it," Gardenhire said. "We work on a lot of things and it happens. You saw last night where we gave away two or three runs and we lose 5-3. Tonight, we give them an extra one and we end up losing by one, there you have it. You don't give people extra outs. We've said that around here forever."

Halladay (4-5) improved to 7-0 in 11 career starts against Minnesota despite giving up three runs in the bottom of the first inning - two on a Morneau two-out homer followed by a Michael Cuddyer infield single and an RBI double from Kubel. The three first-inning Twins tallies were the most allowed by Toronto's ace since he gave up four at Boston on July 12, 2007.

But Halladay settled in from there, allowing just one more run and four total on nine hits with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to earn just his second win in his last six starts despite his 3.49 ERA this season.

"It's one of those days where it was a grind the whole day," Halladay said. "It would've been nice to keep it 4-0 the whole time, but you have those where you've got to grind through. They are a tough team. You know they're not going to give up in the first inning."

Minnesota was put in an early hole once again by starter Boof Bonser (2-5), who has allowed 10 first-inning runs in his last three outings. He has allowed at least five earned runs in each of those three starts, but lost for just the first time in his last four outings.

The righthander gave up five runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in six innings, falling to 0-3 in three career starts against Toronto.

"It's brutal," Bonser said. "We put up a bunch of runs off their ace, and I can't go out and shut them down. That grand slam, I don't want to say it killed me, but it gives them a 4-0 lead right out of the gate, which isn't fun. Especially for my teammates to have to come up and put up a bunch of runs, it's very frustrating."

Bonser allowed five of the first six batters he faced to reach safely - the fifth being Stairs with his team-leading sixth homer of the season and his 11th career grand slam. He paired with Morneau to give native Canadians the only two home runs in the game.

"Hey, the game needs more Canadians," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Got him and Morneau with the long balls. Use that, it might pick up a couple more fans. I don't have any."

Morneau had two hits - including his first home run since April 25 at Texas - two RBI and two runs scored for Minnesota, which lost just its second series at home this season and has lost back-to-back games at home after winning 10 of its previous 11. The Twins have lost five consecutive games to Toronto, being outscored 37-13 during that stretch.

Rolen scored twice while Wilkerson had two hits, a run scored and his first RBI since signing with the Blue Jays on May 9.






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    Blue Jays 6, Twins 5  FinalMay 15 8:15 AM
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    Blue Jays 6, Twins 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 14 11:05 PM


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

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, JESSE CARLSON (7TH), SHAWN CAMP (8TH), BRIAN
    TALLET (8TH), SCOTT DOWNS (9TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    MIN - BOOF BONSER, JUAN RINCON (7TH), JESSE CRAIN
    (

    May 14 11:05 PM
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    Blue Jays 6, Twins 5  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 14 10:49 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.272, 2-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 6, Twins 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 14 10:42 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JESSE CRAIN ALLOWED SCOTT ROLEN TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: M STAIRS (.306, 1-FOR-3, HR, 4 RBI)

    Blue Jays 6, Twins 4  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 14 10:26 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRAD WILKERSON SCORED SHANNON STEWART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B WILKERSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 5, Twins 4  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 14 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED MATT TOLBERT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAUER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.235, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Blue Jays 4, Twins 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 14 9:10 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J KUBEL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.264, 0 HR, 12 RBI)

    Blue Jays 4, Twins 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 14 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (7) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF ROY HALLADAY SCORED MATT TOLBERT.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 2
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.275, 1 HR, 12 RBI)

    Blue Jays 4, Twins 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 14 8:34 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 - ROY HALLADAY
    MIN - BOOF BONSER

    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.275, 3 HR, 14 RBI)
    M TOLBERT (.274, 0 HR, 3 RBI)
    J MAUER (.331, 0 HR, 15 RBI)

    Blue Jays 4, Twins 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 14 8:26 PM
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    Blue Jays vs. TwinsMay 14 8:07 PM