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Twins Shutout Blue Jays

Rookie Joe Mays lives his life on the run and he wasted no time in dispatching the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

Mays, who sprints between the dugout and the mound, scattered four singles in seven-plus innings and worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the seventh to lift the Minnesota Twins over Pat Hentgen and the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0.

Bob Wells threw a five-pitch eighth and Mike Trombley make quick work of the ninth for his 19th save in 26 chances.

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  • The game lasted just 2 hours, 19 minutes.

    "I run out there to get my blood flowing, my heart pumping," said Mays, who improved to 5-2 since his promotion to the starting rotation.

    Mays' propensity to speed things along hurt him in the seventh, however, when he loaded the bases with nobody out before escaping damage after a visit to the mound from pitching coach Dick Such.

    Mays (5-4) allowed an infield single to Shannon Stewart leading off the game and a single to Tony Batista in the second before retiring 13 straight.

    But after being staked to a 2-0 lead, he loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh by walking Brian McRae and Carlos Delgado around a single by Shawn Green.

    "He had to go and make it interesting," Kelly said. "You've got to give the pitching coach some credit. don't know what he told him, but he turned it around and got three wonderful outs."

    Mays said Such's message was to slow down.

    "He told me just relax and don't try to finish the inning before you start it," Mays said. "I was trying to get through the ninth inning before I got through that inning. That made it tough; I was looking too far ahead."

    Mays induced Darrin Fletcher to foul out on a 3-1 splitter, then struck out Tony Batista on a fastball inside and Willie Greene on a backdoor curve.

    "He's got a good breaking ball. It's hard to judge how good his breaking ball is until you see it," said McRae, who was traded from Colorado to Toronto on Monday. "It seemed like he made up for his mistakes with good breaking pitches."

    Mays walked two and struck out a career-high eight. He gave way to Wells after Tony Fernandez led off the eighth with a single.

    And first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz snuffed any hopes of a rally by jumping to snare Homer Bush's line drive and spinning to tag Fernandez for a double play.

    Toronto's lead in the AL wild-card race was cut to a half-game over idle Boston with its first loss in five games.

    Hentgen (7-9) entered with an 11-2 record against Minnesota, and he toyed with the Twins until the sixth, when Javier Valentin led off the inning with a single for Minnesota's second hit.

    Torii Hunter followed with a single and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Jacques Jones' groundout scored Valentin and Denny Hocking's sacrifice fly scored Hunter for a 2-0 Twins' lead.

    Marty Cordova led off the seventh with a double on a ball that left fielder Stewart lost in the Metrodome's ceiling, advanced on Corey Koskie's bunt single and scored on Brent Gate's line-drive single.


  • The Twins have six shutouts this season and Toronto has been blanked seven times.
  • Outfielder Curtis Goodwin, claimed by Toronto off waivers from the Chicago Cubs a week earlier, left the Blue Jays on Thursday and told the club he was retiring. Goodwin, 26, who went hitless in eight t-bats for the Blue Jays, left manager Jim Fregosi a note and his departure left the Blue Jays one player short for the game. "He left a note, a `To whom it may concern' note, and announced his retirement," Fregosi said. "I think he was upset since we got McRae and it didn't look like he had a chance to play."
  • Batista's second-inning single extended his hitting streak to 13, tying a career high.
  • Blue Jays third baseman Willis Otanez gave way to Fernandez in the second after straining his right forearm.

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