Jones hits three-run homer for win


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins are getting good at this
come-from-behind thing.

Jacque Jones hit a three-run homer with one out in the ninth
inning, lifting the Twins to a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue
Jays on Tuesday night.

Minnesota has rallied for 10 of its 13 wins this season and the
Twins improved to 9-6 when their opponents score first. This time,
they were down three runs in the eighth inning.

"We always make it interesting," Jones said. "It'd be nice to
get a five- or six-run lead and not have to come back. But it
doesn't matter how we win, as long as we win."

Torii Hunter tied it with an RBI single one batter before Jones
sent a 1-2 pitch from Justin Speier into the left-field seats for
his team-leading fourth home run of the season.

"We kept battling. We kept getting guys on and we came through
in the end," Jones said.

Shannon Stewart led off the ninth with a single on a hard
grounder that third baseman Chris Gomez couldn't handle. He
advanced to third on Doug Mientkiewicz's single to right and scored
two batters later when Hunter singled up the middle to make it

"The Twins are always capable of doing that," Toronto's Vernon
Wells said. "That's why they're the team that they are, and the
team they've been for the last couple of years. They never die."

Juan Rincon (3-0) worked two scoreless innings for the win.

Toronto, which had its three-game winning streak snapped, blew a
4-1 lead in the eighth and spoiled seven solid innings by Miguel
Batista, who is winless in five starts this season.

Batista, who showed some of the poise that helped him win 10
games last season with Arizona, left after walking Corey Koskie to
lead off the eighth.

"The only thing you can do is watch," Batista said. "They're
a very aggressive team. ... They can hurt you."

Batista allowed two runs and five hits and got some help from
Wells, who made two great catches in center field.

Reed Johnson had three hits and two RBI for the Blue Jays.

But the Twins started their rally in the eighth when Kerry
Ligtenberg relieved Batista with Koskie on base. Ligtenberg gave up
a single to Jones, and a double to Lew Ford, who had three hits and
two RBI, to pull Minnesota to 4-3.

Ligtenberg struck out Henry Blanco before walking pinch-hitter
Jose Offerman to put runners at first and second for pinch-hitter
Michael Ryan.

Speier (1-2) came in for Ligtenberg and got Ryan to fly out to

Twins starter Johan Santana had a season-high eight strikeouts
after a rocky start. Santana worked seven innings, allowing four
runs and eight hits.

"Once he got into a nice rhythm, he was fantastic and I think
he found out something about himself tonight," Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire said.

The Blue Jays got to Santana early. After leading off the game
with a single, Johnson scored when Jones bobbled Gomez's hit in the
outfield for an error. Two batters later, Carlos Delgado doubled to
make it 2-0.

Cristian Guzman's error in the second led to Toronto's third
run. He couldn't handle Johnson's high chopper up the middle and
Kevin Cash scored to make it 3-0, drawing boos from the crowd.

Johnson drove in Cash again in the fourth to put Toronto up 4-0.

"I was frustrated early because I was hitting the spots and
they were getting hits anyway," Santana said.

Minnesota scored in the fifth when Hunter's sharp single to left
scored Luis Rivas with two outs. But Batista got out of the inning
when Wells robbed Jones of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch
at the wall.

Wells made another impressive catch at the wall in the sixth,
this time on a would-be home run by Blanco.

Game notes
Jones also made a couple of nice plays in the outfield. He
made a catch at the wall on a deep fly by Chris Woodward. Jones
also got Woodward out in the fourth in foul territory in front of
the Toronto bullpen. ... The Blue Jays had won four straight games
at the Metrodome.