Teoscar Hernandez 3-run homer lifts Toronto Blue Jays to win over Minnesota Twins
Teoscar Hernandez hit the go-ahead three-run homer during the eighth inning, to give the Toronto Blue Jays a badly needed offensive boost with three hits and a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
“You forget about things like that when you do things good for the team,” Hernandez said.
After his one-out single in the sixth with the Blue Jays trailing 3-1 against Martin Perez. Brandon Drury dropped his shin guard and began jogging to the first base after drawing what he believed was a walk.
However, it was only ball three. Hernandez left for the second, prompted by Drury’s advancement, and Perez alertly threw to C.J. Cron at the first base to complete the unconventional caught stealing. Before Hernandez could retreat.
“I think I was a little distracted. I know that can’t happen,” Hernandez said. “We know the situation, the count and everything. It was a bad moment.”
The 26-year-old left fielder had previously enjoyed a fine breakout season in 2018 with 22 home runs at his first crack at being an everyday player in the MLB. He sent an 0-2 slider from Adalberto Mejia (0-1) into the second deck to cement a 5-3 lead.
“The last couple of games, I’ve been hitting the ball harder,” Hernandez said. “That’s a good sign. I’ve been seeing a lot of pitches.”
Meanwhile, Perez finished his six innings in his first start for the Twins with only one run allowed. Also, Ryne Harper struck out two batters in a perfect seventh inning. Adalberto Mejia was summoned for the eighth inning with all right handers due up for the Blue Jays.
Freddy Galvis greeted Mejia with a single. Meanwhile, Randal Grichuk doubled for his third hit of the game. Also, Justin Smoak hit an RBI single to bring in Hernandez. Mejia went to two strikes; with three of those four batters.
After Hernandez saved starter Matt Shoemaker from his first defeat with his new team, Joe Biagini pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save.
The Blue Jays, who won for only the fourth time in their last 14 games and entered the evening in the bottom five in the most American League batting categories, had a season-high 11 hits.
“It’s not like he did anything but just not put the hitters away, and that’s something that we’re going to have to do,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
The Blue Jays will let second baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr. decide when he’s mentally ready for action on defence. The team were originally planning to use him as a designated hitter with Triple-A Buffalo. Gurriel was sent down on Sunday, following a second throwing error in as many fixtures.
“I felt like his dad talking to him. That’s tough, what he went through. We’re here for him,” Montoyo said, adding: “Whenever you say you’re ready to play in the infield, we’ll play you again. But it’s all about you. Take your time. No rush.”