By Rhett Bollinger and Gregor Chisholm
MLB.com |@gregorMLB |
MINNEAPOLIS -- In a game that saw both teams struggle with runners in scoring position, Brian Dozier came through with a go-ahead RBI triple in the seventh inning to lift the Twins to a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson was saddled with a no-decision, but pitched well enough to keep his club in the game -- despite not having his best stuff. The sinkerballer gave up two runs (one earned) on eight hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. The lone earned run came on a solo shot by Kevin Pillar in the fourth. The bullpen was solid, as Brian Duensing, Ryan Pressly and Casey Fien combined to turn in 2 1/3 scoreless innings before handing it over to Blaine Boyer, who picked up his first save of the year with closer Glen Perkins unavailable.
"Glen was [just having] a day where he needed a break," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We knew coming in we needed to get some outs late without his left-handed arm. Casey had a big inning for us, Duensing got a big out, and the other guys did a nice job. Boyer faced a tough part of their lineup and got the save, so it was a nice bounce-back win for us."
Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez outlasted Gibson, surrendering two runs on seven hits over six innings, but was also stuck with a no-decision. He was hurt by a solo blast from Chris Herrmann in the third and back-to-back doubles by Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe in the fourth. Left-hander Aaron Loup came in for the seventh and gave up the go-ahead triple to right to Dozier with one out.
"I felt like I was out there battling today," Sanchez said. "A little upset I got beat twice on offspeed [pitches]. I thought Russ [Martin] did a really good job behind the dish, sticking with the game plan, was tremendous behind the dish throwing runners out. That's what helped me out a lot, just a tough one today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dozier connects on go-ahead RBI triple: With Aaron Hicks at second base with one out in the seventh, Dozier smacked a hard line drive to right field that went off Ezequiel Carrera's glove to bring home the go-ahead run. Carrera just missed making a great diving catch, but the ball went off the heel of his glove.
"It was a sigh of relief," Dozier said. "I thought I was in trouble there, because he has great speed. He ran it down and almost made an unbelievable catch, but luckily he didn't catch it."
Blue Jays struggle with RISP: The Blue Jays had an opportunity to score in almost every inning, but were unable to come up with a timely hit. In the third, Toronto had the bases loaded with one out when Russell Martin grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the sixth, the Blue Jays had runners on second and third with nobody out, but came away empty-handed with the exception of a run that scored on an error charged to Herrmann. Toronto finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. More >
Herrmann homers, makes run-scoring error: Herrmann, making just his 11th start behind the plate this year, connected on his first homer since 2013 -- a solo shot off Sanchez in the third. But he also made two throwing errors, including a run-scoring error on a sacrifice bunt by Carrera to tie the game in the sixth.
"That's got to change or you're not going to do anything, that's for sure. We're right there, my gut tells me that's going to change. Law of averages says that has to change a little bit, but they're a good team over there."-- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on his club dropping to 3-11 in one-run games.
There's just something about the ninth inning. You're a little more amped. You have to try to calm yourself down a little bit more. So to have a 1-2-3 ninth was nice. It was a lot of fun." -- Boyer on getting his third career save.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Josh Donaldson extended his hitting streak against the Twins to 19 games with a single during the first inning. That's the second-longest streak in the Major Leagues against one team. Fellow Blue Jay Jose Reyes has the active record with hits in 21 straight games vs. Detroit.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Drew Hutchison will take the mound when the Blue Jays close out their three-game series against the Twins on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. Hutchison is coming off the second shutout of his career, after he limited the White Sox to four hits while striking out eight. Hutchison has faced the Twins just once before in his career, and he allowed one run over six innings.
Twins: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco starts in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. CT. Nolasco is looking for his sixth win this month, as he's 5-0 with a 3.77 ERA in May.