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Blue Jays have won two straight against Twins

4/5/2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After a night of near misses at the plate,
Josh Phelps knew what was coming in his final at-bat.

Phelps homered off Eddie Guardado with one out in the top of the
11th inning Saturday night to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 4-3
victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"Guardado features a high fastball, and that's what I was
looking for,'' said Phelps, who also homered in the Blue Jays' 7-2
victory Friday night.

He sent an 0-1 pitch from Guardado (0-1) -- the Twins' All-Star
closer -- into the seats in left-center field to give the Blue Jays
their second win in two days after going 1-6 against the AL Central
champions last season.

"Just left it up,'' Guardado said. "He's going to be a very
good hitter. You make a mistake, he'll make you pay.''

Kelvim Escobar pitched the bottom of the 11th for his first
save, and Pete Walker (1-0) picked up the victory.

The teams left a total of 26 runners on base.

Carlos Delgado went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Shannon Stewart
was 2-for-3 with three walks and two runs for the Blue Jays, who
stranded seven in scoring position like the Twins.

J.C. Romero escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the 10th for
the Twins. Eric Hinske struck out on a checked-swing appeal to
third-base umpire Greg Gibson, and plate umpire Randy Marsh ejected
him for slamming his bat in disgust. Then Vernon Wells flied out on
a 3-1 count.

Bobby Kielty went 2-for-5 with two RBI for Minnesota, tying the
game at 3 in the eighth with a two-out double. Jacque Jones led off
the ninth with a double, but Walker relieved Trever Miller and sent it to extra innings.

The Twins left two on in the fifth, wasted Matthew LeCroy's
leadoff double in the sixth and stranded Cristian Guzman in the
seventh after a two-out triple.

Roy Halladay, one of the AL's most promising young starters
after making the All-Star team, winning 19 games and finishing
fifth in the league with a 2.93 ERA last year, rebounded well for
Toronto after being battered by the Yankees on opening day.

Halladay yielded eight runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings
against New York, but he gave up eight hits, two runs and a walk
while striking out three in seven innings in this one.

"I'm just happy we won,'' Halladay said. "That's a good team
over there.''

Veteran Kenny Rogers didn't do as well in his Minnesota debut.

"My sinker was really poor, and that's my main pitch,'' said
Rogers, who wasn't given much help from Marsh on the inside half of
the plate.

"I just didn't adjust, for lack of a better word. I wasn't
uncomfortable with what I was doing out there. I just got too fine
with some of my pitches.''

Rogers, signed for $2 million this season to bolster the
rotation when Eric Milton went down with a knee injury, didn't join
the team until spring training was more than half done.

Rogers struck out two and worked out of some tough spots -- the
Blue Jays left the bases loaded in both the second and third -- but
needed 82 pitches to get through four innings.

Rogers, 13-8 with a 3.84 ERA for Texas last year, gave up eight
hits, three runs and two walks. He had a 2-1 lead in the second
after Doug Mientkiewicz's one-out double and a single by Kielty,
but the Blue Jays broke through with two outs in the fourth on an
RBI ground-rule double by Wells and a run-scoring single by
Delgado.

"I'm sure we'll get better here as we go along,'' Twins manager
Ron Gardenhire said of Rogers.

Game notes
After playing Delgado's third-inning double off the wall in
left, Jones sent a relay throw soaring over the cutoff man that
Rogers had to make a leaping catch of near first base. Jones
doubled over in laughter, as did Torii Hunter in center. ... Hunter
landed hard on his stomach trying to dive for Chris Woodward's
double in the 10th and stayed on the turf for a few seconds. Jones
went over to check on him and, upon realizing his buddy was OK,
started laughing. "He did it to me,'' Jones said. ... Jones rolled
his left ankle while retreating to second base on a pickoff throw
in the ninth. He had ice on it after the game, but he said he was
fine. ... The game drew 31,421 -- up from last year's crowd of
25,268 at home game No. 2. ... Halladay was 9-1 on the road last
year.