Hernandez leads the Blue Jays past the Minnesota Twins
Teoscar Hernandez delivered the go-ahead hit for the Toronto Blue Jays for the second consecutive night.
However, it was the defensive play by Hernandez that had Charlie Montoyo beaming with joy after the Blue Jays’ 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Hernandez was a vital part of a relay that helped deposit Minnesota’s C.J. Cron from the plate to conclude the game. Meanwhile, Hernandez fielded a double by Byron Buxton in left field and fired the ball to shortstop Freddy Galvis, who relayed to catcher Danny Jansen.
Cron’s attempt to score from the first was short lived, thanks in large part to the inspired Hernandez.
“That was the perfect relay,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Of course, everybody’s thinking of Galvis making that throw, but to me the big one was Teoscar getting to that ball quick and making a perfect throw to Galvis.”
The game-ending relay came just two innings after Hernandez’s big strike. Meanwhile, Hernandez singled off Twins reliever Trevor Hildenberger at the top of the seventh to give the Blue Jays a 6-4 lead. He had capitalized against the Twins bullpen a day earlier, also, hitting a three-run home run during the eighth inning to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 win on Monday.
“When you get a hit with the bases loaded to give your team the lead, it gives you more confidence going into defence,” Hernandez said.
The Blue Jays have shown a skill for scoring late runs in games. Toronto scored two runs during the seventh inning on Tuesday, and have now scored 38 runs during the seventh innings through ninth innings this season. This compared to scoring 29 runs from the first six innings.
Twins tied the game during the sixth inning when Eddie Rosario hit a three-run homer. However, the lead was short-lived after Hernandez bested Hildenberger in the seventh.
Cron was waved around by third base coach Tony Diaz on Buxton’s two-out double. A video review confirmed that Cron was indeed out to end the game.
“I was trying to just run as fast as I could,” Cron said. “At the end of the day, it was just a good relay and I was out by a little bit. That’s just how baseball is.”
Twins starter Kyle Gibson stumbled during the sixth inning after allowing just one hit through five. The right-hander gave up four runs during the sixth, including a two-run single by Justin Smoak.
“He’s a guy that can get through those innings,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Gibson. “It’s not a situation where we’re going out there hoping.”
Meanwhile, after another three-strikeout night on Tuesday, Socrates Brito is now hitless in 21 at the bats. This is a club record for a player starting his Blue Jays career.
Montoyo said: “He’s swinging at a lot of bad pitches. I talked to him before the game and gave him all the confidence. ‘You’re playing centre. Have fun.’ But the moment guys start the game, it’s up to them to make the adjustment. He has to make an adjustment.”