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Game balls: Rating Game 1
10/05/2004 11:52 PM ET
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, Twinkies -- as the boys from Minnesota are so often called -- and subway cars in honor of New York City's mass transit system, for performances in this year's American League Division Series. Here's a look at the Twins' 2-0 win in Game 1.

Five Twinkies: Mom packed the best lunch -- ever
Four Twinkies: You're all that, and a glass of milk
Three Twinkies: Now you're starting to eat like a man
Two Twinkies: You call this a snack?
One Twinkie: No creamy filling; must be a mistake at the Twinkie factory

Twins

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Torii Hunter: He was dazzling in the field, making the two best defensive plays of the game. He threw a perfect strike to catcher Henry Blanco in the second, nailing Jorge Posada at the plate. In the eighth, he robbed Alex Rodriguez of a potential home run ball with a leaping catch at the wall.

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Johan Santana: The Yankees put the Twins' Cy Young Award candidate on the ropes in each of his seven innings of work, but Santana always found a way to bear down and get out of trouble. That the 25-year-old did so against a Yankees lineup that leaves no room for error made his outing an impressive one. Backed by the solid work of his defense, he lived up to the hype caused by his 20-win season.

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Joe Nathan: Let's see ... a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning? Yep, sounds like a typical outing from Nathan -- one that clinched a big Game 1 victory for the Twins.

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Jacque Jones: Playing with a heavy heart after the death of his father last week, Jones reached out in the sixth and lined an opposite-field homer to left to make it 2-0. Not too shabby, considering he had a .091 lifetime average against Mussina coming into this game.

twins gameball
Justin Morneau: The rookie looked like, well, a rookie. He went 0-for-4 in the cleanup spot, striking out awkwardly in the sixth.

Yankees
Five subway cars: Empty car, all the seats to yourself
Four subway cars: Smooth ride, even got a nap
Three subway cars: Had to stand, but life is good
Two subway cars: Got my jacket caught in the door
One subway car: Overslept, hot crowded car, splitting headache ...

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Mike Mussina: The Moose got touched up by Shannon Stewart's RBI single in the second and Jacque Jones' solo home run in the sixth. In the end, though, he did what he was supposed to, giving the Yankees a chance to win. He just didn't get any help from his offense.

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Hideki Matsui: His single in the second and double in the fourth gave the Yankees early chances to mount a rally that never came.

yankees gameball
Ruben Sierra: Somebody forgot to wake Sierra up for Game 1. He took the collar at the plate, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout and stranding three baserunners. When his home run in the seventh was called back after the umps realized the ball went foul, it was a fitting moment in a rough night at the plate for Sierra and the Yankees.

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Bernie Williams: The Yanks cleanup man didn't clean up at all. He went 1-for-4, leaving four men on base.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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