Twins' Span the man vs. Jays

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:59 PM ET

TORONTO - Denard Span keeps coming back to do dastardly things to the Blue Jays. Sunday, his homer in the ninth proved the difference in a 4-3 win.

It was also Span who cost the Jays the chance to draft Jeff Francis in 2002.

The Colorado Rockies were all set to pick Span but could not work out a deal so they selected Francis ninth overall instead. The Jays chose Russ Adams with the 14th pick and the Twins took Span 20th.

JUST RESTING

Rajai Davis was not in the Jays lineup, and was replaced by Mike McCoy, for the second game in a row. Davis rolled his right ankle while evading a rundown in the first inning Friday. He took batting practice but had trouble pushing off. He remains day to day.

STAR-CROSSED

Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s introduction to major league baseball has been anything but smooth. The Japanese league batting champion last season is batting .125. Worse, he has looked uncomfortable at second base after being moved from shortstop.

“It’s too drastic a change,” said a scout yesterday, noting that players coming from the Japanese league are too “regimented.”

Nishioka made an error in the season opener that cost the Twins a run. In a blowout, it didn’t matter.

But yesterday his throwing error on a chopper behind the mound also gave Toronto an unearned run.

THE LITTLE THINGS

Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia has been working on his defence much of the spring.

And, while his homers and loud outs have drawn attention, he bailed Edwin Encarnacion out Sunday with his defence.

An Encarnacion throwing error allowed Michael Cuddyer to reach first in the fourth. But Arencibia blocked a pitch in the dirt, chased down the carom outside the batter’s box and threw a strike to second base getting Cuddyer trying to advance.


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