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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target Field hasn’t been providing much of a home field advantage for the Minnesota Twins lately.
On Sunday Toronto starter Esmil Rogers pitched well into the eighth inning and Jose Reyes’ late double broke a scoreless tie that led the Blue Jays past the Twins 2-0 for a three-game sweep. It was Minnesota’s 10th straight home loss, which is a franchise record.
“That’s terrible to be honest with you,” said Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who did his part in keeping it close, jumping high to rob a base hit from Brett Lawrie in the third inning. “We’re not playing very good. Offense, defense, anything.”
Rogers — who hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts — improved to 5-7 when he outdueled Twins rookie Andrew Albers, who took a no-decision despite a brilliant outing. Albers scattered four hits over seven innings with no walks and a season-high five strikeouts.
“I got away with a few pitches today. Sometimes that happens,” said Albers. “But for the most part I was able to keep the ball down and over the plate today. It’s a fine line in baseball. It’s an inch or two here and there. Guys are working hard, it just unfortunately isn’t happening for us right now.”
After Albers was lifted at the start of the seventh, the Blue Jays quickly got to Twins reliever Jared Burton (2-9). Ryan Goins led off with a single and came around to score on Reyes’ double two batters later. Reyes then stole third and scored when Brian Dozier couldn’t grab Rajai Davis’ pop-fly in shallow left to make it 2-0.
Brett Cecil and Sergio Santos combined to close out the eighth and Casey Jannsen pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 31 chances.
Toronto has won 10 of its last 13 games since a season-high seven-game losing streak from Aug. 18-24.
The Twins had a chance to take the lead after Pedro Florimon’s lead-off double in the sixth. Alex Presley followed with a single, but the speedy Florimon was held up at third by third base coach Joe Vavra, and then thrown out at home on Chris Herrmann’s ensuing grounder. Vavra said he lost sight of the ball, and held Florimon as a result.
“(Vavra) was bummed out about it in the dugout and said he lost sight of ball when Reyes dove,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “If you’ve never been out there you’d never understand that but when you’re coaching it’s a fast pace over there. It’s a very tough job. It may look like everybody can see the ball, but when a guy dives, he lost sight of it.”
Presley advanced to third on Brian Dozier’s long fly, but Oswaldo Arcia grounded out to short and end the threat, drawing loud boos from the home crowd.
Notes: Blue Jays INF Edwin Encarnacion sat out with a sore left wrist. . Minnesota’s bullpen entered the game having allowed 11 runs in 14 1-3 innings against the Blue Jays, including six runs in three innings in Saturday night’s loss. “It’s really hard for me to say anything bad about those guys in the bullpen, they’ve been our saviors,” Gardenhire said. . Asked if he regularly checks in on injured All-Star catcher Joe Mauer (concussion), Gardenhire quipped: “I said Hi,’ at breakfast. Do I need to say more than that? I’m not going to follow him around, you guys do that.” Gardenhire said Mauer hit in the batting cages Sunday and followed a regular cardio routine. There is still no timetable for his return. . The Blue Jays haveMonday off before beginning a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at home on Tuesday. RHP Jerome Williams (6-10) is scheduled to start that game against the Angels’ Mark Buehrle (11-7). The Twins will host the Angels on Monday in a makeup game fromApril 17; Pedro Hernandez (3-1) will start for Minnesota against Jered Weaver (9-8).
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