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AL: One-man bench a hit for Twins

By Associated Press
Published May 20, 2004

TORONTO - The Twins had one reserve for Wednesday's game. It was enough.

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

Torii Hunter, Michael Ryan and Henry Blanco singled off Toronto closer Terry Adams before LeCroy came to the plate in place of Alex Prieto. He sent his first homer of the season over the centerfield 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 leftfielder Shannon Stewart missed the game with 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 Minnesota's first pinch-hit grand slam 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 pitched 11/3 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.

WHITE SOX 15, INDIANS 3: Frank Thomas had five RBIs and Paul Konerko added four to back Scott Schoeneweis for visiting Chicago.

Thomas busted out of a 2-for-19 slump by going 3-for-4 with two walks as the White Sox opened a big lead, then scored six in the eighth.

Thomas hit a two-run double in the third off Jason Davis, added a run-scoring single in the fourth and hit another two-run double in the sixth as the White Sox took two of three in the series.

Thomas passed Ken Griffey for 57th place on the all-time RBI list; tied Rickey Henderson for 52nd with 873 extra-base hits; and jumped to 86th on the doubles list with 437.

YANKEES 4, ANGELS 2: Jon Lieber pitched into the eighth and Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer in his return to the lineup for visiting New York. The Yankees broke a 2-all tie in the sixth when Kevin Gregg walked Derek Jeter with the bases loaded after replacing John Lackey. Hideki Matsui singled to start the rally, and Lackey walked Tony Clark and pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra before Gregg relieved.

Alex Rodriguez gave New York a two-run lead with an RBI double off Ben Weber in the eighth. Lieber allowed two runs and seven hits in 72/3 innings. Mariano Rivera got three straight outs for his AL-leading 15th save in 16 chances.

A'S 6, TIGERS 2: Bobby Kielty hit two home runs and drove in four and Jermaine Dye also homered to lead host Oakland. Kielty connected in the first and third against Mike Maroth for his second career multihomer game. He also homered twice April 17, 2003, against Detroit. He has four homers this season.

ORIOLES 5, MARINERS 2: Erik Bedard got his first major-league win and Melvin Mora hit a run-scoring double for Baltimore. Jay Gibbons homered in a three-run seventh and Luis Matos also connected as the Orioles won for the second straight night at Safeco Field, where they are 4-19 since it opened in July 1999.

ROYALS 5, RANGERS 3: Juan Gonzalez hit a three-run homer against his former team and Jimmy Gobble held the Texas offense in check for Kansas City. Gobble gave up three runs and six hits in 61/3 innings, helping the Royals earn their fifth road win this season.

[Last modified May 20, 2004, 02:35:04]


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