Twins' Hughes unravels against Toronto
MINNEAPOLIS — The Toronto Blue Jays scored five runs in the sixth inning and went on to post a 9-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field.
Minnesota starter Phil Hughes cruised through five innings, allowing four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts, but ran into a wall to start the sixth.
The Blue Jays hammered out six hits in the inning and took advantage of a Twins error to open a 5-2 lead. Four of the runs were charged to Hughes.
A leadoff double to Munenori Kawasaki started the inning before consecutive singles by Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion ended Hughes’ night. All four came around to score as Hughes ended up allowing eight hits and a walk in five-plus innings.
Jays catcher Dioner Navarro singled off Twins reliever Michael Tonkin to make it five straight hits before a groundout by Moises Sierra. Brett Lawrie’s sacrifice fly to center scored a run, and Navarro came home after Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki’s attempt to throw him out advancing to third sailed into left field.
Hughes, who looked poised to post his first quality start for the Twins after signing a three-year, $24 million contract last winter, has struggled through three starts but suffered his first loss.
Minnesota put two runners on with two out in the eighth, but Brian Dozier grounded out to third, ending the threat.
Toronto added to its lead in the top of the ninth when Twins reliever Jared Burton loaded the bases with three straight two-out walks. He then left a 1-2 fastball up in the zone to Lawrie, who hammered it off the facing of the second deck in left for his third homer of the season and second career grand slam.
Aaron Loup got the win for the Blue Jays, pitching 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
The Twins went ahead 1-0 in the first when right fielder Chris Colabello smashed an RBI double off the wall in right that came within a foot of leaving the ballpark. It scored Dozier, who had led off the inning with a walk.
The Twins doubled their lead in the second when shortstop Pedro Florimon tripled into the gap in left center and scored two batters later on a sharp single to left by first baseman Joe Mauer.
Jays starter Brendan Morrow allowed two runs but was pitching deep into counts with nearly every hitter. He was lifted after 3 2/3 innings and 98 pitches, giving up four hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
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 and is now fifth in the American League with 11 bases on balls this season. His 14 runs are tied for the AL lead.