Toronto at Minnesota

W: P. Walters (3-0) L: D. Bush (3-1)
HR: TOR - L. Jimenez (1),L. Jimenez (2),R. Davis (2)   MIN - J. Mauer (1),B. Dozier (2),J. Morneau (3),D. Butera (1)

Twins 14, Blue Jays 5


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Aaron Hicks left the Minnesota Twins with little to debate: He's their starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.

"I think it's a pretty simple decision," manager Ron Gardenhire said after Sunday's 14-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. "Hicks is going to be our center fielder. I don't think it's a shocking announcement by any means."

Hicks, who played at Double-A New Britain last year, went 4 for 4 and scored three runs while raising his batting average to .350.

Gardenhire told reporters in his office before breaking the news to Hicks. When did the manager plan to tell the 23-year-old Hicks?

"Maybe on the airplane," Gardenhire joked, referring to the flight home for opening day.

In reality, Gardenhire pulled Hicks aside a few minutes later and gave him the news.

"It feels great to be named center fielder," said Hicks, a first-round draft choice in 2008.

Hicks outplayed Joe Benson and Darin Mastroianni for the job. Hicks said he received advice from players such as former Twins outfielder Denard Span.

"Denard told me to relax and be yourself," he said.

Hicks, who hit .271 in five minor league seasons, so impressed Gardenhire that the manager envisions him as a No. 3 hitter in the future.

"I'm just thankful to be the leadoff hitter," said Hicks, who was in his first big league camp.

Gardenhire praised Hicks for his patience at the plate.

"He showed that he has the approach to be a leadoff hitter," teammate Justin Morneau said.

Joe Mauer had a three-run homer and six RBIs, and Morneau hit a two-run drive that caromed off a palm tree behind the right-field wall.

Mauer homered to center in a four-run first off Dave Bush and hit a three-run double in the fourth that chased Guillermo Moscoso, who also allowed Morneau's homer during the seven-run inning.

"We know what they mean to our lineup," Gardenhire said.

Luis Jimenez homered twice and drove in four runs for the Blue Jays.

Twins starter P.J. Walters gave up three runs and four hits in three innings.

NOTES: Bush entered 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA and allowed four runs, four hits and a walk in the first inning, then gave up a two-run homer in the second to Brian Dozier. ... Twins RHP Tim Wood has a right shoulder strain, according to GM Terry Ryan. ... Wilkin Ramirez, Brandon Boggs and Jeff Clement remain in contention for Minnesota's final roster spot.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Mauer
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

L. Jimenez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2

Related Video

April 21, 2017
Stock Down: Toronto Blue Jays (1:07)
Toronto Blue Jays
Anthony Gose, RF-CF2000210 .267
   a- Aaron Munoz, PH1000000 .000
Jim Negrych, 2B5010011 .394
Rajai Davis, LF4131000 .244
    Chris Hawkins, LF0000000 .000
Colby Rasmus, CF3000112 .152
    Kenny Wilson, RF0000000 .250
Josh Thole, C3010003 .171
   b- Sean Ochinko, PH-C1000002 .200
Andy LaRoche, 3B3210101 .250
Luis Jimenez, 1B4224010 .233
Mike Nickeas, DH2000000 .212
   c- Adam Loewen, PH-DH2000000 .083
Mike McCoy, SS2000020 .161
    Munenori Kawasaki, SS2000010 .000
a-flied out for Gose in the 9th
b-grounded out for Thole in the 7th
c-grounded out for Nickeas in the 6th
HR - Rajai Davis (2, Duensing), Luis Jimenez 2 (2, Walters, Duensing)
RBI - Rajai Davis (7), Luis Jimenez 4 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Jimenez 2 (2)
CS - Anthony Gose (3, 2nd base by Duensing/Mauer)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Kawasaki-Negrych-Jimenez
Toronto Blue Jays
Dave Bush (L,3-1) 2666102 6.23
Jeremy Jeffress 1355200 9.00
Guillermo Moscoso 1322001 12.86
Tyson Brummett 2211011 3.68
Aaron Loup 1100010 1.00
John Stilson 1000000 0.00
WP - Guillermo Moscoso (1), Tyson Brummett (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 26-16, Jeremy Jeffress 14-6, Guillermo Moscoso 11-8, Tyson Brummett 11-11, Aaron Loup 6-6, John Stilson 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 3-3, Jeremy Jeffress 2-1, Tyson Brummett 4-1, Aaron Loup 2-0, John Stilson 2-1
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 13, Jeremy Jeffress 8, Guillermo Moscoso 6, Tyson Brummett 8, Aaron Loup 4, John Stilson 3
Minnesota Twins
Aaron Hicks, CF4341000 .350
    Darin Mastroianni, CF1000010 .353
Brian Dozier, 2B4332001 .278
    Jamey Carroll, 2B1010000 .286
Joe Mauer, C3226000 .400
   a- Drew Butera, PH-C2111001 .375
Justin Morneau, 1B3212100 .282
    Dan Rohlfing, 1B1000000 .296
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4110001 .412
    Ray Olmedo, 3B1000000 .297
Chris Parmelee, RF5010001 .250
Jeff Clement, DH4001011 .195
Brandon Boggs, LF3111102 .212
Pedro Florimon, SS3100101 .213
a-homered for Mauer in the 5th
2B - Aaron Hicks (6, Bush), Joe Mauer (1, Jeffress), Trevor Plouffe (3, Moscoso), Chris Parmelee (2, Bush)
HR - Brian Dozier (2, Bush), Joe Mauer (1, Bush), Drew Butera (1, Brummett), Justin Morneau (3, Moscoso)
RBI - Aaron Hicks (16), Brian Dozier 2 (7), Joe Mauer 6 (7), Drew Butera (6), Justin Morneau 2 (11), Jeff Clement (5), Brandon Boggs (9)
2-OUT RBI - Drew Butera (1), Brandon Boggs (4)
Team LOB - 4
Minnesota Twins
P.J. Walters (W,3-0) 3433221 2.08
Brian Duensing (H,2) 2322122 4.85
Jared Burton (H,2) 1000020 3.52
Josh Roenicke (H,3) 2100110 5.40
Bruce Pugh 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - P.J. Walters 30-19, Brian Duensing 21-14, Jared Burton 7-7, Josh Roenicke 13-9, Bruce Pugh 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P.J. Walters 4-3, Brian Duensing 1-2, Jared Burton 1-0, Josh Roenicke 3-2, Bruce Pugh 2-1
Batters Faced - P.J. Walters 15, Brian Duensing 9, Jared Burton 3, Josh Roenicke 8, Bruce Pugh 3
Game Information
Attendance - 7312
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Field Culbreth