Notes: Jones to miss rest of series

Notes: Jones to miss rest of series

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins will be without Jacque Jones for the final two games against the White Sox on Wednesday and Thursday because of a death in the right fielder's family.

Jones, who provided the Twins' lone hit with an eighth-inning home run in a thrilling 1-0 win over Chicago on Tuesday, will return to his hometown in the San Diego area for the funeral of his uncle.

"He found out over the weekend," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's been a tough few days for him."

Jones, who declined to discuss his feelings or specifics about his family, will rejoin the club Friday in Texas.

With a 1-for-27 (.037) lifetime mark against Wednesday's scheduled starter, Chicago lefty Mark Buehrle, Jones was unlikely to start that game anyway. Right-handed-hitting Michael Cuddyer, who started the Aug. 17 game against Buehrle, would be a likely candidate to take Jones' place in right field. If not, it would be reserve outfielder Michael Ryan.

It's also been a tough time on the field for Jones lately. He strained the oblique muscle in his right side Aug. 10 at Seattle and was out of the lineup six games, except for a pinch-running appearance. He entered Tuesday in a 1-for-15 skid since returning Thursday.

Jones' homer was his 18th and gave him the team lead while batting .254 with 58 RBIs. He also endured the death of his father during the American League Division Series last season against New York.

Ford motoring: As the Twins' confidence has grown with winning the past couple of weeks, so has Lew Ford's with hitting.

Coming off a breakout 2004 season, Ford has often had difficulty duplicating his success this season, including a .173 batting average for the month of July.

How things can change.

Ford entered Tuesday with home runs in three straight games and an eight-game hitting streak, which earned him AL Player of the Week honors Monday.

"He's getting better pitches to hit," Gardenhire said. "That's what happens when you start swinging well. The pitcher makes mistakes and you hit it instead of fouling it off."

The 29-year-old Ford, who entered Tuesday's game batting .264 with seven homers and 47 RBIs, often likes to pull the ball. But he's tried to open up the field by hitting to all directions.

"You try to make adjustments and do things," Ford said. "At some point, it just comes around and starts working."

Happy birthday: Twins owner Carl Pohlad celebrated his 90th birthday Tuesday, but the club's boss since 1984 hasn't slowed down his love for the game. Gardenhire said Pohlad often pops into the manager's office to say hello.

"He still likes baseball," Gardenhire said. "He'll always ask me, 'Who's pitching today?' He always tells me the game goes in cycles -- he's right."

When the Twins swept Chicago last week, Pohlad happened to be attending the owners' meetings and saw White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in the room.

"He said Reinsdorf was squirming," Gardenhire said. "I think he liked that."

Coming up: Joe Mays (6-8, 5.00 ERA) will try for back-to-back victories Wednesday when the Twins face Buehrle (13-6, 3.07 ERA) and the White Sox at 7:10 p.m. CT.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.