Donaldson hits 3 HRs; Blue Jays sweep Twins

Donaldson hits 3 HRs; Blue Jays sweep Twins

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson brought the rain with his first career three-homer game, and the Blue Jays brought the brooms, completing a sweep of the Twins, 9-6, and handing Minnesota its season-high 10th straight loss on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Toronto's third come from behind victory of the series was fueled by the reigning American league MVP. Donaldson's two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh put the Blue Jays in front for good, and his second solo home run of the day in the eighth put the icing on the cake.

"I think it's one of those things as a baseball player that you want to have happen one day and you don't know if it's ever going to happen," Donaldson said. "It's a rare thing and I was happy to do it after seeing Edwin (Encarnacion) do it last year. It was great."

Jose Bautista also recorded his first three-hit game of the season, while Melvin Upton Jr. continued his hot stretch with two more RBIs to move the Blue Jays two games ahead of the Red Sox, who lost, 10-4 to the Royals on Sunday night.

Upton Jr. plates two with double

"We didn't have a lot of hits early, but we felt good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "There's something about that. When you're starting to feel really good, good things can happen."

Miguel Sano finished with two hits and two RBIs for Minnesota, while Max Kepler also drove in a pair of runs off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, who finished his outing after allowing five runs -- three earned -- over six innings. The Twins brought the tying run to the plate with two out in the ninth, but Sano struck out against Roberto Osuna.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson was pulled after 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. The 28-year-old right-hander finishes his August having surrendered 26 runs in 34 innings.

"I've felt like too many times this year I've gotten away from my best pitch, and that's my sinker," Gibson said. "The plan today was to come out and throw a lot of them and move it around the plate and get ahead with it and try to keep them uncomfortable, take something off, add some, move it up and down -- for the most part it worked, but made a couple mistakes on the home runs, obviously."

Donaldson's homer hat trick

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Bringer of dingers: Donaldson recorded his first three-homer game of his career to help the Blue Jays seal the comeback victory. After his final shot of the day in the bottom of the eighth inning and 33rd of the season, the reigning American league MVP received a curtain call from the sold out crowd. Donaldson's second of the game came in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Pat Light and gave the Blue Jays the lead, while his first homer came in the bottom of the third off Gibson.

"I've never had a curtain call before, so that was nice," Donaldson said. "I tried to enjoy it for a second. [Encarnacion] was on deck after the third one, he had a huge smile on his face and I think that brought it into reality a little bit." More >

Donaldson on three-homer game

 Steady Eddie: Eddie Rosario replaced Danny Santana in center field in the bottom of the second after Santana suffered an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder in a collision with Robbie Grossman. Rosario, who was hitting .307 with five home runs and 22 RBIs since his July 3 recall, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. More >

Inching closer: The Blue Jays cut the Twins' lead to 5-4 and knocked Gibson out of the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tulowitzki led the inning off with a solo home run to center field, and Travis had an RBI single two batters later. Light would take over from Gibson and induce an inning-ending double play.

"We all know what they did last year and the offensive team that they have when they get going," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Donaldson back on track, he didn't swing … he wasn't swinging as well when we saw them earlier in the year, but he's got it back on track. They've got a lot of dangerous hitters over there."

Tulo's solo homer

Four Spot: After Rosario singled in the fifth, and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Dickey issued back-to-back walks to Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer to load the bases. Rosario scored on a Kepler fielder's choice, Dozier was brought home on a Trevor Plouffe single and Sano singled to drive in Mauer and Plouffe, giving the Twins a 5-2 lead.

QUOTABLE
"We kept Bautista in the park, if you want to look for a positive." -- Molitor, on silver lining

"It was just kind of one of those things where I've never been shot before, but if I can somewhat relate, it kind of felt like I was shot in the knee." -- Donaldson, on his first inning foul ball

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Donaldson is the 16th Blue Jays player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. Forty one of his 73 home runs since being traded to Toronto have either tied the game or given Toronto the lead.

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins: Hector Santiago (10-8, 5.16 ERA) gets the ball on Monday, as the Twins open a three-game series in Cleveland with first pitch set for 6:10 p.m. CT. The left-hander struggled his last time out surrendering eight earned runs on 11 hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work against the Kansas City Royals. In four starts for the Twins since his trade from the Angels, the 28-year-old Santiago is 0-4 with a 10.89 ERA. .

Blue Jays: Marco Estrada gets the ball in the opener of a pivotal three-game showdown against the division-rival Orioles on Monday at Camden Yards, with first pitch set to fly at 7:05 p.m. ET. Estrada has struggled mightily in his last two starts, allowing 11 earned runs and five home runs over his last nine innings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Twins on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.