MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Bautista hit three homers for the first time in his career Sunday, adding to his major league-leading total and sending the Toronto Blue Jays to an 11-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins and a sweep of their three-game series.

Jose Molina also had three hits for the Blue Jays, who scored in each of the first four innings. Yunel Escobar and Aaron Hill also had a pair of hits for Toronto.

The victory extended Toronto’s winning streak to a season-best five games and allowed the Blue Jays (20-20) to get back to the .500 mark for the first time in nearly a month.

Trevor Plouffe doubled and scored twice while Justin Morneau recorded his 10th double of the season for Minnesota, which has lost eight straight and 14 of 17 as it heads out for a weeklong West Coast road trip. The defending AL Central champions have the worst record in baseball.

Bautista, who led the majors with 54 homers last year, continued his recent tear. The right fielder is hitting .415 with 13 homers and 21 RBIs over the past 19 games, and his 16 home runs this season are just two behind the total of the entire Twins team.

After popping out to third base in the first inning Sunday, Bautista hit a solo home run to the second deck of left field off of Twins starter Brian Duensing in the third.

In the fourth, Bautista hit a line drive solo homer just inside the left field line off of reliever Kevin Slowey. Both of those homers were hit into a strong wind that was blowing in from left at more than 20 miles per hour.

In the sixth, Bautista’s two-run homer to right-center just cleared the 23-foot high wall and gave Toronto an 11-3 lead. Before hitting into a fielder’s choice in the eighth, Bautista had homered four times in five plate appearances going back to Saturday’s 11th-inning homer.

Bautista has 11 multi-home run games since the beginning of the 2010 season and three this season. His recent surge has him ahead of last year’s pace; he reached 16 homers on May 30.

That was more than enough offense for the Blue Jays pitchers.

Brandon Morrow (2-2) limited Minnesota to three runs over five innings to pick up the victory. Shawn Camp, Carlos Villanueva and Octavio Dotel combined to pitch four scoreless innings of relief.

Duensing (3-4) entered the game as perhaps Minnesota’s most consistent pitcher. But he lasted only three innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits. It was his shortest start of the season that wasn’t affected by weather.

Kevin Slowey, who is adjusting to a bullpen role, gave up four runs in relief.

From the beginning of the game, Toronto piled up runs. The Blue Jays opened the game by turning a pair of walks into two runs in the first inning before adding a single run in the second and four in the third. By the time Bautista homered in the fourth, the lead was 8-0.

Minnesota had an opportunity to make the game interesting in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with none out. After Delmon Young struck out, Michael Cuddyer walked to force in a run. With the bases still loaded, Danny Valencia couldn’t drive in a run with a fly out and Drew Butera followed with a strikeout.

Notes: Bautista also tied the Blue Jays team record for homers through 40 games. Carlos Delgado had 16 homers through 40 games in 2001. … Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia was fine after taking a foul ball off of his throwing hand Saturday. Arencibia didn’t start on Sunday after starting nine consecutive games. … Minnesota DH Jim Thome, who is on the DL with an oblique injury, is expected to participate in a simulated game Monday at Fort Myers, Fla. … Toronto IF Jayson Nix, who suffered a leg injury, could rejoin the Blue Jays this week in Detroit.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (25)
  1. Al says:

    Fire Gardenhoser.

  2. Poohbabe says:


  3. Jake says:

    Maybe they can convert Target Field for the new Vikings Stadium and send every coach and player back to the minor league. They have had no legitimacy in MLB from the start of the season, they lose consistantly, yet we’re supposed to fork over the hundreds of dollars for seats and concessions? Yeah right!

  4. Mary says:

    You hit it on the head, Jake. They’ve got no business charging major league prices until they put a major league team on the field. I can’t stand to waste the time watching them on tv, let alone fork over the bucks to see them in person.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      So teams should charge admission based on their record? Is that what you’re suggesting?
      I mean, to be honest, I don’t blame you on not wanting to spend the money to go watch a game where the Twins are down 6 runs before they even bat. I’m with you there. I won’t spend the $ until they show signs of life.
      But to say they have no business charging “major league prices until they put a major league team on the field” is just emotional rhetoric that isn’t even a viable solution anyway.

  5. Ike says:

    Even though people will say that we have had our fair share of injuries the Twins shouldn’t be losing by 6+ runs on a consistent basis. While teams traded to get pitchers we still stick with 4 or 5 starters on other teams as our 2 and 3 starters. Even our ace Pavano wouldn’t be a 2 or 3 on some pitching staffs. I think they should bring back the trees because opposing teams seem to be seeing the ball just fine!

  6. david says:

    I would not waste a nickel on these losers. Wasting all that money on Mauer and letting a lot of good pitchers go from last years team. they should start by getting rid of Gardenhire. Pathetic and embarrassing.

  7. Shane G says:

    What doesn’t make since to me is how the Twins went from being in the playoff’s last year to the absolute worst team in MLB this year. I could see them gradually losing a few more games then last year since all teams go through ups and downs. But to be the utmost worst team in MLB within a half year span after being the #1 team last year is just downright inexcusable. The Twins even made it to the playoffs last year without Justin Morneau, and now they got him back this year and now they lost just about every game they play. Go in overtime and get whopped by 6 points in one inning by Toronto. Unbelievable.

  8. Shane G says:

    Basically if you were the #1 team last year, I could see the Twins maybe dropping to #2 this year if you are having a temporary slide downward..or #3 at the worst. But to be last and have the worst record out of the entire MLB franchise after being in the Playoffs last year?? Someone explain to me how you go from being the best last year #1, to being last and the worst team this year? Too much time off?

  9. Sue says:

    You would think that after Bautista 2nd homer they would have intentionally walked him what is one more walk since they have walked enough players this year. It all starts with the coaching and the coach has lost his team they have no confidence in him anymore or respect just like what happened with the Vikings last year with Childress so what they need to do is to get rid of Gardenhire and his coaching staff and start all over and get rid of Smith who has done nothing to help this team with pitching or anything else. Quit babying Mauer and make a move from catching to another position and make a trade to get a descent shortstop in here and get some pitching help because otherwise their season is done already even though its only May.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      “You would think that after Bautista 2nd homer they would have intentionally walked him”

      You mean YOU would have walked him. And again, that’s probably because your baseball knowledge is razor thin…

  10. Gloria says:

    I am an ardent Twins’ fan, but it is embarrasing to watch or listen to the games this season. They don’t even show up on the field for most games. It’s just a bunch of empty uniforms standing around.

    I hope they can get it together, but unless they win every game from here on out, there’s no chance for MN to make it to the playoffs this year!

    For a long time now, I’ve felt they leave struggling pitchers on the mound too long–until the chance to come back and win a game is long gone, or they take a good pitcher out too early due to pitch count. (Lately, they have left the couple of guys who have pitched a decent game in longer, but that’s the exception with this team.)

  11. eastside_evil says:

    The lack of baseball knowledge by the commenters is astounding.

    Fire Gardenhire? For what specifically? He can’t go out and field the ball for them. He can’t make Brian Duensing find a 1st inning fastball. He can’t make Joe Mauer’s legs work for him. Their pitching can’t take a 0-0 game into the Twins’ half of the 1st inning. That isn’t Ron Gardenhire’s fault. Cuddyer, Morneau, Thome, Kubel and Young don’t have as many homeruns combined as Jose Bautista. That isn’t Ron Gardenhire’s fault either.

    1. Al says:

      One of Gardenhosers main responsabilities is getting the team motivated to play. Enough said, moron.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        I’m a moron?

        Why was that called for? Your comment is being reported.

        1. Fire Gardy! says:

          eastside, if you are reporting him for calling you a moron then his right you are a moron. It’s the coaches responsibility to motivate his team and his players to have confidence in him and that is gone they don’t respect him anymore so yes he needs to go.

          1. eastside_evil says:

            And you know this how?

            don’t just say “it’s obvious.” I want to know how you personally know the players don’t respect him.

            No more BS. Come out with your proof or retract your claim. It’s that simple.

  12. eastside_evil says:

    Sooo, you are claiming that the players are not performing very well on the field because they don’t respect Gardenhire?

    I think we’ve discovered who the moron is. How many Twins players did you poll to discover this information? Please be specific.

  13. eastside_evil says:

    So it really is Gardenhire’s fault that his pitchers don’t make it into the 2nd inning before trailing?


    Have you ever PLAYED baseball?

    1. Sue says:

      Yes, I have played baseball for many years when I was younger and if you don’t respect the coach or have confidence in the way he is coaching then yes you don’t perform the same as if you have the respect and confidence it affects your attitude just like when Pavano was beating on the trash can what did Gardenhire do, nothing, I rest my case, most managers would have fined him for that kind of behavior. He has lost his grip on the team.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        “just like when Pavano was beating on the trash can what did Gardenhire do, nothing, I rest my case, most managers would have fined him for that kind of behavior.”

        I was right. You HAVEN’T played baseball. Or if you did, you still don’t know anything about it apparently.

        And again, how many Twins players did you talk to in order to find that information out? ZERO? lol

        1. Al says:

          You are a brainless boob.

        2. Sue says:

          eastside, you are such an idiot! You don’t have to poll the players you can tell by their attitude and how they react to Gardenhire, and who knows what your were talking about in the beginning. Try and prove me wrong, where is your evidence that I’m not talking the truth. I will stick by what I’ve been saying and you are a moron! So go and ahead and report me.

          1. eastside_evil says:

            What’s with the name calling? Sorry, but that won’t fly.

            Sue, you’ve been reported.

            “you can tell by their attitude and how they react to Gardenhire”
            If you knew the first GD thing about baseball, you’d be involved in the game somehow. Fact is, you don’t know a F*ng thing more than any other dipsh1t sitting on a barstool does.

          2. eastside_evil says:

            And again, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            I don’t have to prove the players don’t respect Gardenhire, Sue. You made the claim. YOU prove it. And it doesn’t work to say dumb things like “IT’S OBVIOUS YOU MORON!”

            You see, that isn’t actually proof of your claim.

            So let’s have it, Sue. Give me proof, not your opinion.

            Oh and learn to spell. How embarrassing.

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