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LeCroy, last man on bench, comes through

5/19/2004

TORONTO (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins had only one reserve for
Wednesday's game. It was enough.

Pinch-hitter Matthew LeCroy hit a grand slam in the ninth inning
to give the Twins a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Torii Hunter, Michael Ryan and Henry Blanco singled off Toronto
closer Terry Adams (3-3) before LeCroy came to the plate in place
of Alex Prieto. He sent his first homer of the season over the
center-field wall to put Minnesota ahead.

"What was amazing about it, was that I was the only guy left on
the bench because everybody was hurt," LeCroy said.

Minnesota left fielder Shannon Stewart missed the game because
of a left foot injury, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz is sidelined
with a hyperextended lower back and Luis Rivas has a sore groin.

"That's a big win," LeCroy said. "Had we lost, it could have
turned a good trip into a bad one."

The Twins went 4-2 on their trip.

It was the first pinch-hit grand slam for Minnesota since Greg
Colbrunn's against the Blue Jays on Aug. 4, 1997.

"Guys who wouldn't normally hug, we're hugging," Minnesota
manager Ron Gardenhire. "It's a big win for us. We probably didn't
deserve it, but if you keep playing nine innings good things
happen."

Aaron Fultz (2-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 13th save.

"We stole a win," Nathan said. "Down three runs in the ninth,
nobody is expecting us to get this win. It's huge because we get to
go home 4-2 before we play Chicago."

Minnesota has trailed in 16 of its 24 wins.

Despite the dramatic way Toronto lost the game, Adams was
staying positive.

"I'm not demoralized at all. It's a game," Adams said. "I'll
go home tonight and play with my son. I'll come back tomorrow. It's
just tough, you know, but that's the life of a closer. You come in
and you blow it, and everything is on your shoulders, and you lose
a game."

Toronto's Gregg Zaun went 2-for-3 with an RBI single, raising
his average to .483 since being called up from Triple-A Syracuse on
April 27 to replace injured catcher Greg Myers.

Vernon Wells doubled off Minnesota starter Kyle Lohse in the
sixth before Lohse intentionally walked Carlos Delgado. Zaun then
singled in Wells to give Toronto a 3-2 lead.

Wells gave the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead in the seventh when he hit a
two-run single off Juan Rincon.

Josh Phelps hit an RBI single and Simon Pond hit a run-scoring
grounder, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead in the second.

Jose Offerman tied it in the sixth with a two-run double.

Game notes
The Twins host a four-game series against their division
rival, the Chicago White Sox, starting Thursday. ... Attendance was
25,675. About 14,000 school children attended the game. ... The
Blue Jays have homered just once over their last nine games.