TORONTO - Twins slugger Jim Thome has 589 career home runs, two off Drabek — Doug Drabek. He was hitless in three trips with two strikeouts Saturday against Doug’s son Kyle Drabek.
“It’s been so long, I think Doug had a breaking ball,” the 21-year veteran told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “His son threw a real good cutter. He threw it to both sides of the plate and his fastball hit 94. Then the cutter was 89-90, so it looked like a fastball cutting at the last minute, but the variation of speeds really made him successful.
“He pitched to both sides of the plate, never missed in the middle of the plate.”
Thome was 4-for-10 against the elder Drabek.
It was an easy decision for manager John Farrell. When the Twins lifted lefty Francisco Liriano for right-handed reliever Kevin Slowey, Farrell went to his bench for Travis Snider. Snider entered the game a career 4-for-6 with two homers and three RBIs against Slowey. It was a match made at 1 Blue Jays Way. Snider stayed back on a first-pitch changeup and lined a two-run double into right to put the Jays up 5-1 in the fifth.
Los Angeles Dodgers scout Ken Bracey tried to get a radar reading on Pat Gillick’s ceremonial first pitch before the opener, but could not locate a gun in time. “Bob Engle may have thrown harder,” Bracey said. Engle, the former Jays scouting director, signed three Cy Young award winners: Hentgen and Roy Halladay as scouting director with the Jays, and Felix Hernandez with the Seattle Mariners.
Not that this is getting routine, but the Jays have won seven of their previous eight, nine of their last 12, and 30 of their last 42 against the Twins ... Adam Lind’s fifth-inning single was the 500th hit of his career ... The Blue Jays are 2-0 for the first time since 2000. They finished that season 83-79 under Jim Fregosi.