Blue Jays start, finish big with 11-2 win over Twinst

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins spotted the visiting Toronto Blue Jays a big early lead and the Jays made them pay with an 11-2 shellacking on Saturday night at Target Field.

In a game that started remarkably similar to the previous night's game, the Blue Jays scored five runs in the first inning and then their bats quieted down for the next five innings.

But in the seventh, the Jays got going again, scoring two runs against Twins reliever Josh Roenicke. Kevin Pillar singled, Jose Reyes doubled and Munenori Kawasaki knocked them both in with a single to center.

And the rout was on.

"It makes a difference," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the early lead. "But two of the previous games on this road trip that we scored early and then we dried up and we didn't score much late -- this game started to look like that a little bit, too. But we managed to add on and it turned out big in the end."

The Blue Jays added a run in the eighth when Rajai Davis scored on Anthony Gose's two-out triple, and three in the ninth when Adam Lind homered for the second time in the game. The Blue Jays finished with 15 hits.

"Well, he's always better when he goes gap-to-gap," Gibbons said of Lind's homers that were to center and left. "When he gets too much in pull mode he runs into trouble and just comes off the ball a hair. He gets out around some balls and doesn't drive them. He's got one of the prettiest swings you can find in baseball-there's a lot in there. When he gets hot, he gets hot. He's starting to do that now."

Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ pitched 5 2/3 innings for Toronto. He threw 87 pitches, giving up one unearned run and scattering six hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

Twins starter Kevin Correia had the one bad inning in the first, giving up five runs, but was tough the rest of the way. He threw 95 pitches in six innings, giving up five runs and seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

"I think I was getting ahead of a lot of guys early, so I had to try not to be so fine," Correia said of the first inning. "They jumped on pitches early. Normally, I can make adjustments like I did after that inning and get through, but they just caught me early."

The Twins, who had 11 hits in the game, got three of them in the eighth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Trevor Plouffe scored on Josmil Pinto's single to left. But reliever Steve Delabar squelched the Twins' last legitimate threat.

The Twins left 12 runners on base in the game and suffered their ninth straight loss at home.

"We had plenty of opportunities," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We loaded the bases a couple times. Too many strike outs. If we keep doing that and getting some of those hits, it could be a fun ball game. But we missed a lot of opportunities on both sides so that wasn't a good ball game for us."

The Blue Jays hit the ball hard and often in the first inning. Kawasaki singled, Edwin Encarnacion walked and both scored on Lind's homer to center.

Brett Lawrie followed with his 11th homer of the season to left. Moises Sierra then doubled to center and scored on J.P. Arencibia's single to right. Nearly the entire Jays batting order hit the ball right on the screws against Correia for a fast 5-0 lead.

After the first inning, Correia settled down to retire 12 of the next 13 batters he faced, but the damage was already done.

The Twins showed a little life in the fourth with Josh Willingham reaching on a fielder's choice and then scoring on Oswaldo Arcia's base hit to center field.

NOTES: In the previous 12 games, Blue Jays starters have posted an 8-2 record with a 2.93 ERA. ... The Twins have hit 37 home runs in their last 28 games (since Aug. 9), the third most in baseball since that date. ... Chris Colabello has seven home runs since the All-Star break, ranking second among American League rookies during that period. ... Encarnacion has homered in two of his last four games and three of last eight. His 36 homers rank third in the majors behind Chris Davis (48) and Miguel Cabrera (43).
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