Wells Gets MLB-Leading 18th

Blue Jays pitcher David Wells yells at home plate for a strike call.
AP
David Wells' post All-Star slump might be over.

Wells became the majors' first 18-game winner as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-3 Sunday.

"This was nice to have, especially after three or four bad outings in a row," Wells said.

Wells (18-5) equaled his career high in wins, previously done in 1998 with the New York Yankees. The 18 wins are the most by a Blue Jays left-hander.

Despite the win, the 37-year-old Wells is 3-3 with a 6.40 ERA in eight outings since starting the All-Star game.

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Game Summary

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  • "It was an important win for us, and for him," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said.

    The Blue Jays began the day four games back of the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics in the AL wild-card race.

    Wells allowed three runs on nine hits for his AL-leading seventh complete game of the season. He walked none and struck out seven.

    "This was vintage David Wells," Fregosi said. "He gave up a couple of runs early, but then he came back and pitched really well."

    Wells has 11 walk-free games this season, and has issued just 28 bases on balls.

    Down 3-1 in the seventh, the Blue Jays rallied with three runs.

    After Minnesota starter Eric Milton issued lead-off walks to Craig Grebeck and Alberto Castillo, Hector Carrasco (3-3) relieved and Shannon Stewart followed with an RBI single. Alex Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice bunt, advancing Castillo and Stewart into scoring position.

    Catcher Danny Ardoin's passed ball tied it, and Jose Cruz's RBI single past a drawn-in infield gave Toronto a 4-3 lead.

    "Once he got the lead, Wells became unhittable," Minnesota's Denny Hocking said.

    Milton gave up three runs on six hits in six-plus innings.

    The Blue Jays added two runs in the eighth on Todd Greene's solo homer, and Stewart's RBI grounder.

    Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Matt Lawton and David Ortiz.

    "I just made some flat pitches in the first inning and they were all over it," Wells said. "I didn't look too good for a while, but I settled down."

    The Twins made it 3-0 when Ortiz grounded into a double play in the third.

    Toronto got a run back in the fifth when Gonzalez singled in Greene.

    Notes

  • Cruz batted in the third spot for just the sixth time this season.
  • The attendance was 32,627.
  • Milton, who got a no-decision, hasn't lost since July 19.
  • Milton has pitched at least six innings in 20 of his 27 starts. He had given up 13 runs in his previous two starts.
  • Left-hander Jimmy Key won 17 games for Toronto in 1987 and Wells matched it last season.

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