Continued from page 1

According to STATS research dating to 1974, this was the only game that featured an eight-walk, three-wild-pitch inning.

Casey Fien (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory for the Twins.

Jose Bautista took over the AL lead with his sixth homer, a solo shot in the fifth inning that accelerated Pelfrey’s exit. Bautista, who also walked and scored in the first, has gone deep 11 times in 14 games at the ballpark the Twins opened in 2010. That’s the same number of homers Joe Mauer has here in 256 games.

Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single and reached base four times for the Blue Jays. Toronto starter Dustin McGowan, like Pelfrey, failed to finish the fifth. But all that was forgotten with the wildness that came in the eighth.

Pelfrey used the words “terrible” four times and “embarrassing” three times in discussing his performance with reporters, describing his mood in the clubhouse as “crushed,” as if his dog had died. But he perked up.

“These guys picked me up, and hopefully from here on out they won’t need to do that,” Pelfrey said.

The first game was played in 2 hours, 38 minutes, thanks to Gibson’s command, and the Twins joked afterward they were ready to come back out for the next one in a half-hour. Instead, they waited nearly 3½ hours for another lumbering start by Pelfrey.

After wintry weather forced postponement of Wednesday’s game, workers scrambled all morning to melt snow and ice from the seating areas, and the grounds crew dried the warning track. The Twins even sent out a company-wide memo asking for help. Slush still sat along the edges of the plaza behind right field, and the highest seating level was closed off because it wasn’t cleared in time, giving those customers an unexpected upgrade.

The announced paid attendance was just over 20,000 for both games, but the actual number of people present was half of that at most, much lower at night despite the downright balmy 42 sunny degrees at first pitch.

Pinto highlighted a five-run fifth inning in the first game against Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (1-3) with a two-run double, missing a grand slam by a few inches. Plouffe also had two RBIs. But the story of the game was Gibson.

Gibson (3-0) took the mound for the coldest start for an outdoor game in Twins history, 31 degrees, and breezed through a Blue Jays lineup that totaled 20 runs in the previous two games. He walked one, struck out four and scattered four singles.

NOTES: Dozier hit his third leadoff homer of the season and has five total. … Blue Jays CF Anthony Gose, their extra player for the doubleheader, walked three times. He had only five in 153 plate appearances last season. … 3B Eduardo Nunez was the 26th man in his Twins debut and had a hit and a walk.