Through five innings, Toronto could get nothing going against
Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes, who breezed through on 74
pitches, notching seven strikeouts.
But the Jays started the sixth with five straight hits — four off
Hughes — kick-starting the game-winning rally.
A leadoff double to second baseman Munenori Kawasaki got the inning
started before consecutive singles to center fielder Jose Bautista,
designated hitter Adam Lind and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion
ended Hughes' night. All four came around to score as Hughes allowed
eight hits and a walk over five-plus innings.
Jays catcher Dioner Navarro singled off Twins reliever Michael
Tonkin to make it five straight hits to start the inning before a
sacrifice groundout by right fielder Moises Sierra gave Toronto its
first lead, 3-2.
Third baseman Brett Lawrie's sacrifice fly to center scored a run,
and Navarro came across to score after Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki's
attempt to throw him out at third sailed into left field.
"It just took a little bit to get used to (Hughes)," Lawrie said.
"We didn't take (batting practice) today. We rolled into town, hit
in the cages and just rolled right out into the game. Once we got a
couple of hits, it just started snowballing."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "You've got to figure out how to
stop the bleeding. I know that. Make a pitch and get through those
things. He sure wasn't able to do it there in that (sixth) inning.
It's too bad, because another good outing and he ends up leaving
Lawrie added a grand slam in the top of the ninth to make it a 9-2
game after Twins reliever Jared Burton loaded the bases with three
straight two-out walks. Lawrie hammered a 1-2 fastball off the
facing of the second deck in left for his third homer of the season
and second career slam. He finished with five RBIs.
"We have a good-hitting team," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
"Hughes was tough on us early, but we got that one inning where we
were able to break it open. Our bullpen, we needed them to pitch and
they all did a great job."
The Twins took the early lead, scoring a run in each of the first
two innings. Right fielder Chris Colabello had a career-high three
hits, including an RBI double off the wall in right in the first
inning. First baseman Joe Mauer's RBI single to left made it 2-0 in
the second. Minnesota's only other run came on a solo home run by
third baseman Trevor Plouffe with one out in the ninth.
The rocky sixth inning was a tough break for Hughes, who looked
poised to post his first quality start for the Twins after signing a
three-year, $24 million contract with the team last winter. He's
struggled through three starts, but lost his first decision Tuesday.
It also snapped a streak of three straight quality starts by Twins
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"The middle of that order seems like it's been the same for a while
now," Hughes said. "We've had lot of at-bats against each other.
Certainly lots of sequences and things, so you've got to switch it
up. Trying to make pitches late in the game is what it's all about.
For whatever reason, I just couldn't do it.
"So far, three starts, three bad innings."
Jays starter Brandon Morrow lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing
four hits on four walks and four strikeouts and throwing 98 pitches.
Reliever Aaron Loup got his first win of the season, tossing 1 1/3
innings of scoreless relief.
Bautista led the Jays with three hits, his first three-hit game of
the season. Kawasaki had two hits in his first game with Toronto
this year after beginning the season with Triple-A Buffalo. He was
added to the 40-man roster earlier Tuesday after second baseman
Maicer Izturis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn
lateral collateral ligament in his left knee.
NOTES: Blue Jays OF Melky Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 14
games with his leadoff single. He has now hit in every game this
season. ... Twins SS Pedro Florimon's triple in the second inning
was his first of the season and first since Sept. 10, 2012. ...
Twins 2B Brian Dozier walked in each of his first two plate
appearances Tuesday and is now fifth in the American League with 11
walks this season. His 14 runs scored are tied for the AL lead. ...
Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie hammered a grand slam off the facing of
the second deck in left field in the top of the ninth inning. It was
his second career grand slam and first since Aug. 10, 2011. ...
Twins RF Chris Colabello went 3-for-5 Tuesday. The three hits were a
career high. ... Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind was lifted
for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh inning due to
lower-back tightness. He is day-to-day.
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