Toronto Blue Jays beat Twins 7-4
The Toronto Blue Jays are finally finding their feet in the MLB — and the wins are following.
Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, and Justin Smoak all hit home runs as the Blue Jays beat the Twins 7-4 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Eric Sogard added a three-run double for the Blue Jays, who took three of four at Target Field.
“Not only are we scoring. But we’re getting some big outs,” Grichuk said. “Early on we kind of had some quick at-bats, balls put in play or strikeouts quick. Now we’re battling, putting together good at-bats, swing at good pitches.”
The Blue Jays are hitting .217 this campaign, and are 12th in the American League; since April 9th. However, Toronto are hitting .256 in winning five of their last nine.
“We score seven runs today they all swinging the bat pretty good right now,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Now if Sogard stays hot, you’ve got Sogard and (Freddy) Galvis getting on base for those three guys. That’s a good combination.”
That trio would be Grichuk, Hernandez and Smoak, the team’s 3-4-5 hitters.
Smoak hit a no-doubt, two-run shot and Sogard added a bases-clearing double as part of a five-run fourth that put the Blue Jays ahead 6-3. Smoak has reached base in 19 of his last 35 plate appearances, and Sogard, called up Monday, was 6 for 12 in the series.
Grichuk hit a home run in the first inning. Meanwhile, Hernandez scored a fine solo drive during the eighth inning. Also, Hernandez was six for 15 with two home runs in the series against the Twins.
Struggling with his cutter, starter Clay Buchholz allowed three runs on six hits in 4 2-3 innings. Before Thomas Pannone, Tim Mayza, Joe Biagini and Ryan Tepera combined to allow just one run in 3 1-3 innings. Furthermore, Ken Giles earned his sixth save in seven chances with a scoreless ninth.
The Blue Jays bullpen allowed two runs in 13 2-3 innings during the series.
Meanwhile, Eddie Rosario homered twice for Twins. Both against a right- and left-handed pitcher.
“Some of the stuff he does you go, ‘Wow. That’s pretty impressive,”‘ Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “To come in facing the lefty (Mayza) and put a swing on that first pitch, people just don’t do that because it’s borderline impossible. You just don’t see things like that. But he does things that other people don’t do or can’t do.”
Michael Pineda (2-1) endured his worst start to a season. As he allowed six earned runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings. Meanwhile, he struck out one batter, threw a wild pitch and allowed two home runs to equal his combined total from his first four starts.
Rosario homered and Jonathan Schoop and Willians Astudillo both ended 0-for-15 stretches with singles in a three-run second inning for the Twins.
Ryne Harper tossed 3 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for Minnesota.
The Blue Jays face off against Oakland Athletics next.