Nelson Cruz drives in two to help Twins beat Blue Jays

Nelson Cruz had two hits and two RBIs, to help Jake Odorizzi and the Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 following a lengthy 54-minute rain delay.

“I guess I could say I’ve learned from previous mistakes,” said Odorizzi, who for the first time in four starts this season by striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. “It’s just a go out there, mind over matter sort of a thing.”

Odorizzi allowed six hits, one walk and one run. He threw 101 pitches on a cold evening. So manager Rocco Baldelli called on Adalberto Mejia to get the last out of the sixth inning with a runner on first.

Against the Phillies in April, Odorizzi had struggled with his grip on the slippery ball and only recorded two outs. While allowing five runs on three walks and two hits. Also, in New York against the Mets, the right-hander threw four hitless innings. Before allowing two runs and failed to finish the fifth.

Justin Smoak had an RBI single for Toronto in the first, putting him on base in 14 of the 15 games he has played this year. However, nobody else reached second for the remainder of the night. Meanwhile, Odorizzi now has the unusual combination of a 4.76 ERA and a .172 batting average.

“Just watching him in the dugout and body language and everything, I think he was ready to go,” Baldelli said.

Mejia blew Minnesota’s 3-1 lead on Monday night, and allowed four runs in the eighth of the 5-3 loss. Taylor Rogers and Mejia each allowed only one baserunner, and set up Blake Parker for his fourth save with a perfect ninth.

“We had nothing going,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “A dead night.”

Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton (0-2) allowed four of the first five hitters to reach base. Before he finally settled in and lasted until recording the first two outs during the fifth. Meanwhile, Thornton gave up six hits, three walks and four runs while striking out three.

“I didn’t put my head down and put my tail between my legs,” Thornton said. “I went back out there and wanted to get as deep as possible. To help our bullpen out a little bit because obviously, the game didn’t start as planned.”

This was the 44th occasion that weather has delayed play at the ballpark since it opened nine years ago. In that time there has been 24 postponed fixtures, one suspended game continued the following day and one shortened game.

The attendance was announced at 11,465, making it the lowest figure at Target Field’s history, though the actual presence of people was far less than that with the weather. The four smallest crowds have come in the last four games.

Including their postponement of the game Friday after a snowstorm, the Twins had a majors-most six days off over the first 20 days of the season. With the lunchtime start looming in the series finale, every effort was going to be made to get this game in.

“We have a lot of months where we have two or three days off over the course of the month. To use those days as added games is something we’d prefer not to do,” Baldelli said.

Peace,

Burke.

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