Blue Jays get pounded by Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Aaron Hicks left the Minnesota Twins with little to debate: He’s their starting centre 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 centre fielder. I don’t think it’s a shocking announcement by any means.”

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Aaron Hicks left the Minnesota Twins with little to debate: He’s their starting centre 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 centre 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 centre 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 centre 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read