Blue Jays' Thomas gets 500th homer vs. Twins

Milestone in 1st overshadows ejection in 9th, loss

Twins 8 Blue Jays 5

June 29, 2007

MINNESOTA -- Thankfully for Frank Thomas, his family had to catch an early flight yesterday.

That meant his wife, three children and father-in-law got to see Thomas hit his 500th home run. And they were gone when Thomas got ejected.

"They had to leave for the airport at 1:45. My daughter said, `Dad, you've got to do it in the first couple of at-bats,'" he said.

Thomas hit a three-run shot in the first inning of the Toronto Blue Jays' 8-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins, becoming the 21st major leaguer to reach 500.

But in the ninth, Thomas was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner after being called out on strikes for the second time in the game. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out to argue and also got tossed.

"I'm probably the first to get 500 home runs and get thrown out of the ballgame," Thomas said. "That's something I didn't want to happen, but the moment just got the best of me.

"I've still got hunger and desire. You saw that in the ninth inning," he said. "I still care. The game wasn't over in my opinion, and I was up there to battle."

Thomas also had an RBI double and tied his season high with four RBIs.

Torii Hunter homered twice and Jason Bartlett also hit one for Minnesota, which rallied from a 5-1 deficit.

"You can't upstage 500 home runs. It's hard to do. I'll be lucky if I hit 300," said Hunter, who has 181.

Carlos Silva (6-8), who gave up Thomas' milestone homer, was the winner, and Joe Nathan finished for his 15th save. Jason Frasor (1-3) took the loss.

Thomas came up after Matt Stairs' RBI single in the first and sent Silva's 1-2 pitch an estimated 396 feet into the left-field stands.

"I said, `Let's just get a hit right here.' That's when home runs happen, when you're really not trying to do too much. He hung a slider over the corner and I stayed with the pitch," Thomas said.

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