Blue Jays dominated in 3-0 defeat

Jose Berrios became the latest starter to quiet the Toronto Blue Jays this season. He went for seven shutout innings in the Minnesota Twins’ 3-0 victory.

“Honestly the last two days has been (Minnesota’s) pitching,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “(Martin) Perez came in hot, pitched really well (on Monday) and Berrios is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

“I’m not making excuses, (but) they’re coming in hot. That’s a good lineup and a good team and their pitching has been very good.”

Mitch Garver homered and Marwin Gonzalez earned an RBI on a walk for the Twins. They handed the reeling Jays their fourth straight loss while Minnesota picked up their eighth win in 11 games.

Berrios lowered his earned-run average from 2.91 to 2.53. He allowed just four hits and struck out five. Relievers Trevor Hildenberger, Trevor May and Taylor Rogers preserved the shutout.

Berrios has gone three straight starts without walking a batter.

“I think more concentration pitch by pitch,” he said of his approach during that streak. “Trying to command my fastball down and away.”

The Blue Jays lost for the seventh time in eight games. This includes back-to-back shutouts by the Twins to open a six-game homestand. It was the Jays first time getting shut out in two straight games since July 2015.

The Blue Jays held a hitters meeting before the game, which usually only happens prior to the first game of a series. However, it seemed to do little to spark their offence. Toronto had six hits and managed just one extra-base hit; this was a double from Billy McKinney in the seventh.

“It was about making adjustments and to have a better approach at the plate, stop chasing bad pitches and stuff,” Montoyo said of the purpose of the hitters meeting. “I think we’re going to get there. But going back, we just faced two really good pitchers. Berrios is very good and he was on today.”

Aaron Sanchez started for the Blue Jays and allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings. He also walked three batters and struck out six in a 99-pitch outing.

The game began poorly for Sanchez, who walked Gonzalez with the bases loaded to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Sanchez needed 31 pitches to get out the frame, allowing a pair of hits and two walks.

But the 26-year-old right-hander settled in after the troublesome opening inning, giving up only three more hits until Garver launched a two-run homer off him to put the Twins up 3-0 in the sixth. The home run was Garver’s seventh of the season.

“That inning could have went so much different,” Sanchez said of the first. “(Max) Kepler gets a ground ball that he beats out, Garver swings on an 0-2 or 2-2 pitch that could have been the third out of the inning. Just a couple things that you can’t control in the course of a game but just to go seven innings and give that bullpen a much-needed rest, it’s my job to do and that’s all the focus is tonight.”



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