Twins memories of games in Toronto

*  The Minnesota Twins made their first ever visit to Exhibition Stadium May 6, 1977 (a 7-2 win over the Blue Jays, before 26,355 -- WP: Geoff Zahn, LP: Dave Lemanczyk (2-3). S: Ron Schueler (1) and Tuesday is their 181st, counting post-season play. ....  

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By Bob Elliott

The Minnesota Twins play their 181st career game in Toronto Tuesday night in the middle game of three-game series at the Rogers Centre.

After Monday’s walk-off win, the Jays are 108-72 lifetime, counting post-season play which is a term they used to use around here a lot kiddies, back when everyone walked six miles to school -- uphill both ways, through snow drifts.

Some of the more memorable games the Twins have played at Exhibition Stadium, the SkyDome or Rogers Centre.

1. Oct, 11, 1991, SkyDome, 51,454. The Twins and the Jays split the first two games of the American League Championship Series in the MetroDome. Joe Carter homered off Scott Erickson and Candy Maldonado doubled in a run for a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Game 3. Kent Hrbek Hrbek knocked in a run in the fifth and Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett tied the score in the seventh.

Coming off an injury Tom Henke had been the set-up man for closer Duane Ward. Henke worked a scoreless ninth but rather than Ward coming on for the 10th, Cito Gaston went to Mike Timlin in the 10th. With one out Timlin faced Pagliarulo. Pagliarulo hit six home runs in 393 plate appearances and 134 in his 11-year career. Not an automatic out, but people in the 500 level weren’t at the ready when Oakland A’s Jose Canseco or Mark McGwire came up. Pagliarulo lined a 1-0 pitch to right for a solo shot and Rick Aguilera set down the Jays in order.

2. July 7, 2010, Rogers Centre. Justin Morneau “slud” into second base as Dizzy Dean used to say. It was a clean hard slide in the eighth trying to break up two on Michael Cuddyer’s grounder. Shortstop John McDonald in the air but McDonald’s knee came down hard against Morneau’s head.

The Jays won 6-5, but Morneau was done for the year with a concussion, one year after finishing in the runner-up spot in the MVP award voting.

He hit 40 home runs with 184 RBIs and a .726 OPS from 2011-2013 before re-discovering his stroke this year with the Colorado Rockies.

3. Sept. 28th, 1982, Exhibition Stadium, 11,124. Jim Clancy retired the first 24 batters he faced without allowing a walk before Randy Bush hit a broken bat looper past the reach of Damaso Garcia leading off the ninth. Clancy got a double play grounder and left the mound with a 3-0 win.

The next day a bat boy from the visiting clubhouse arrived with a note from Bush asking Clancy to sign the broken bat, which upset Clancy. Bush had nothing to do with the prank. Kent Hrbek was guilty.

4. Oct. 12, 1991, SkyDome, 51,526. Jack Morris pitched eight innings allowing two runs on nine hits and one walk as the Twins beat the Jays 9-3 for a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven ALCS. Working on three days rest Morris threw 110 pitches. Pat Borders had three hits for the Jays while Robbie Alomar and Devon White had two each. It was Morris’ second win of the series. He outpitched knuckleballer Tom Candiotti in the opener. The day before any post-season game pitchers are brought into the interview room. About 10 or 15 years later Candiotti ran into Morris in an airport.

Both were now in broadcasting. Candiotti asked if Morris recalled when he said to him when they passed before Game 1 in the MetroDome hall way. Morris did not. Candiotti said he wished Morris “good luck,” and Morries replied “I won’t need any luck pitching against you.” He didn’t.

5. May 23, 1996, SkyDome, 31,163. Paul Molitor made his first visit as visiting player in a Twins uniform after winning the 1993 World Series MVP honours. Molitor was cheered but was hitless against Frank Viola and Marty Jansen as the Jays won 5-4 in the bottom on the 10th on walk-off fashion. John Olerud led off with a single to right against Mike Milchin. Felipe Crespo pinch ran, then manager Cito Gaston used Robert Perez to pinch hit for Shawn Green and Perez bunted Crespo to second. Erik Bennett took over on the mound and Charlie O’Brien pinch hitting for Sandy Martinez singled to right scoring Crespo.

Molitor was 5-for-13 the rest of the series: with a single and an RBI as Rich Robertson pitched a complete-game four-hit 4-0 win; had two hits including a double and an RBI in a 6-4 10-inning win as Scott Stahoviak and Rich Becker knocked in runs in the 10th and had two hits, including a double and an RBI in a 9-3 win as the Twins scored six runs in the top of the ninth pinning the loss on Brian Bohanon.

5A. Aug. 28-29, 1980, Exhibition Stadium, 14,035. Dave Stieb, the best or second best pitcher in franchise history, was in 450 games for the Jays. And in one game he played in left field. The Blue Jays played an afternoon game on a Thursday during the Ex with a 5 PM curfew due to the grandstand show that night. And after 14 innings the score was 5-5. That night Otto Velez of the Jays and Bombo Rivera of the Twins went out for dinner and were in a car accident.

Next day manager Bobby Mattick moved left fielder Garth Iorg from left to first replacing Velez and Stieb took over in left. Jesse Jefferson took over in the 15th on the mound, issued a lead-off walk, Alfredo Griffin booted a Mike Cubbage grounder, Ken Landreaux bunted the runners over and then Dave Edwards and Pete Mackanin knocked in runs for a 7-5 win.