Colabello's ninth-inning homer lifts Blue Jays

Colabello's ninth-inning homer lifts Blue Jays

MINNESOTA -- Chris Colabello's past year has been full of highs and lows. Friday night, the outfielder might've reached his highest point thus far in the Blue Jays' 6-4 victory over his former team, the Twins.

After two years with the Twins, Colabello was claimed off waivers by Toronto in the offseason. Shortly after, the outfielder was designated for assignment and outrighted to Triple-A. Colabello was called up earlier this month, and got revenge against his former team Friday, breaking open a tie game with a two-run home run in the ninth inning.

"Obviously, Perk's going to challenge," Colabello said after the game. "I've seen him pitch for a couple years now. I was looking heater, trying to stay aggressive, obviously don't want to get behind against a guy like him. It was down a little bit, but I put a good swing on it."

After sitting through a 61-minute rain delay and the top of the first, Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle struggled out of the gate. Manager John Gibbons had a reliever warming up almost immediately. But after a four-run first inning, Buehrle settled in and mowed the Twins down. Buehrle allowed just two baserunners after the first and faced the minimum through the next eight innings in a complete game.

The rare home defeat snapped the Twins' five-game winning streak. Closer Glen Perkins, who entered the game with a Major League-leading 18 saves and a 1.19 ERA, was hit hard, giving up three hits, a walk and the home run to Colabello to take the loss.

"It was one of those games, a little frustrating for us to lose a game when you get four in the first inning off a guy like that. As we know that [Buehrle] can, obviously he settled in," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The triumphant return: Colabello's two-run homer extended his hitting streak to nine games. He is batting .400 (14-for-35) with three doubles, three homers and eight RBIs over that span and dating back to his season debut, the journeyman slugger has at least one hit in all but five of his 22 games. He entered play on Friday ranked second in the American League this month with a .386 average and .440 on-base percentage. More >

Donaldson does it again: Josh Donaldson is arguably the hottest hitter in baseball as he homered for the fourth consecutive game. The All-Star third baseman hit a three-run shot off right-hander Trevor May to tie the game at 4 in the fifth inning. It marked the first time in Donaldson's career that he has homered in four straight games. The last person to accomplish the same feat for Toronto was Jose Bautista from Aug. 26-31, 2014.

Donaldson sizzling for Blue Jays

Buehrle faces minimum after first inning: Buehrle seemed destined for a short night after he allowed four runs in the first inning, but instead he was able to turn his outing around in dramatic fashion. Buehrle faced the minimum from the second inning until he walked off the field having put the finishing touches on the 31st complete game of his career. During the final eight innings, he allowed only two baserunners to reach base. Danny Santana reached on an error in the fifth while Trevor Plouffe singled in the sixth but both baserunners were later erased on double plays. More >

Buehrle goes the distance

Twins score early: Minnesota came into the weekend leading the league in runs scored in the first three innings. The Twins continued that trend Friday, rocking Buehrle in the first inning. Brian Dozier's double off the wall set the tone for the four-run outburst, and three of the Twins' first four batters wound up scoring in the inning.

"We like the fact that we come out ready to play. They made adjustments to us and sometimes we don't always add on the way that we would like to see," Molitor said. "At times we see the zeroes start coming, but I'm not overly concerned about that. I just like the fact that we're coming out ready to play. That's a good thing."

 

Mauer's RBI single

QUOTABLE
"That's what I like to call a bulldog. I came in, in the middle of the ninth there and I saw him staying loose and I looked at him and I just told him I loved him, because that's a pretty epic outing. That's a character outing. That's how you hope everyone responds to giving up four in the first. Come back and throw a CG and get a win. That's special stuff. That's why he's been doing it as long as he has. Just proud to call him a teammate." -- Colabello on Buehrle

"He can miss balls and hit them a long way." -- May on Donaldson, who hit a game-tying home run in the fifth inning.

Donaldson's three-run homer

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Buehrle picked up the 29th victory of his career against the Twins, which is the most he has against any team and the most by an opposing player in Minnesota history. It also marked the sixth complete game of his career vs. the Twins.

WHAT'S NEXT
Blue Jays: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will take the mound on Saturday afternoon when the Blue Jays continue their series against the Twins in a 2:05 ET start time. Sanchez has battled control problems all year but he seems to have turned things around lately. The rookie right-hander went from six walks on May 2 to five, four, three and two walks in his ensuing outings. Sanchez allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings during his last start against the Mariners.

Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson gets the ball for the 10th time this season Saturday at 1:10 CT. Gibson, who boasts the lowest ERA of Twins starters, is coming off a quality start against the White Sox. He's faced the Blue Jays once, allowing just four singles in eight innings in a victory last April.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.