the republic logo

Pregame meeting can't solve offensive woes as slumping Twins lose 3-1 to surging Blue Jays

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

TORONTO — A pregame meeting couldn't lift Minnesota's slumping offense out of its recent malaise.

and hit solo home runs, pitched 6 2-3 innings to win consecutive starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the struggling Twins 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Toronto's sixth win in seven games moved the Blue Jays ahead of Minnesota and into the second AL wild-card spot.

The Twins have been held to one run in four of their past five games, losing all four. They are 5-12 since the All-Star break.

"A decent game except for the fact that our offensive struggles continue," manager said. "It's been a rough trend for most of our guys as of late."

Molitor tried to turn things around with a brief chat before batting practice, saying he wanted to take "a pulse" of his players.

"I wasn't trying to do a Knute Rockne or anything," Molitor said. "Just kind of get out there and make sure we understood where we're at and what we still have an opportunity to accomplish."

Even though the Twins didn't stop their scoring drought, third baseman said the team remains confident.

"The thing we've done great all year is not worry about what's happened the day before so we're not going to let it get to us now," Plouffe said.

Donaldson and Tulowitzki both drilled second-deck homers off Twins right-hander , who leads the majors with 27 home runs allowed this season. Colorado's has surrendered 26.

"Their top four are as good as any in baseball," Hughes said of the Blue Jays. "They're a tough group to navigate."

The Blue Jays are undefeated in the six games Tulowitzki has started since last week's trade from Colorado.

"It makes my job easier when I don't have to try to do too much," Tulowitzki said. "There's a lot of guys who can come through and hit home runs at any point in time. I really haven't had that in my career. Played with good players, not this many of them."

Hughes (10-7) lost for the first time since June 8 against Kansas City, snapping a streak of six straight winning decisions. He allowed five hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings.

"I was missing over the plate a lot with my cutter and my fastball," Hughes said. "My changeup was probably my best pitch tonight, which I don't think I've ever been able to say."

Hughes walked two batters, just the second time this season he has walked more than one, and uncorked his first wild pitch of the season. Hughes also walked two on May 4, against Oakland.

Donaldson hit his 28th home run in the first, connecting on a 2-2 pitch. It's the eighth time this season he's homered on a two-strike count.

Donaldson has a 22-game hitting streak against the Twins. It's baseball's longest active streak for any player against an opponent.

"He's had a very good year, an MVP-caliber year," said bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who ran the team while manager served a one-game suspension.

Tulowitzki made it 2-0 with a leadoff shot in the third, his second since joining Toronto.

's bases-loaded sacrifice fly halved the deficit in the fourth, but chased Hughes and made it 3-1 with an RBI double in the sixth.

Estrada (9-6) left after 's double in the seventh but got to fly out.

worked the eighth and finished for his eighth save.

Gibbons was suspended for coming back on the field when the benches and bullpens cleared in the eighth inning of Sunday's win over Kansas City. Gibbons had been ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Jim Wolf one inning earlier.

Sanchez was suspended three games for sparking the melee by throwing at Kansas City's . Sanchez is appealing his penalty.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Molitor showed he hasn't lost his sense of humor despite Minnesota's recent offensive struggles. "I know we didn't have a lot of chances because I didn't put many signs on all night," he said.

HOMER HAPPY

The Blue Jays have homered in 16 of 17 games since the All-Star break, and have nine multihomer games in that span.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey will make his major league debut in place of injured LHP (elbow). Duffey went 6-8 with a 2.66 ERA in the minors, starting eight games at Double-A and 13 at Triple-A.

Blue Jays: Durability and consistency remain elusive for RHP (9-2, 5.42 ERA), who has won only once in five starts and hasn't reached the seventh inning since June 6 against Houston.

PHOTO: Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher Marco Estrada works against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 in Toronto.  (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher Marco Estrada works against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Toronto Blue Jays' Troy Tulowitzky, left, gets a high five from teammate Jose Bautista after he hit a solo home run against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 in Toronto.  (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Click to view (4 Photos)

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.