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Blue Jays Use Long Ball To Beat Twins

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The Blue Jays don't always make it easy, do they?

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

It was a worrying start and a nail-biting finish, but three home runs in the middle led the Blue Jays to a 9-7 win over the Minnesota Twins. Toronto has now won four in a row and six of seven.

Drew Hutchison had a shaky start and finish to his start. He allowed three first inning runs and allowed four runs in the fifth inning but was pretty good in between. He struck out the side in the third inning. He finished his night allowing seven hits over five innings and seven runs (three earned). He struck out five and walked two and allowed a home run to Miguel Sano.

He does need to be better if for no other reason than not to cringe during his starts, but, hey as long as the offence scores runs for him and the team wins, who am I to complain (too much).

Timely home runs were the recipe of the day for the Jays offence. Josh Donaldson hit a first inning two-run home run to cut the Minnesota lead to 3-2. Then in the second inning, Jose Bautista hit a grand slam off of Tyler Duffey who was making his Major League debut. The home run gave the Jays a 6-3 lead that they never surrendered. Edwin Encarnacion crushed a ball over 470 feet to score three more runs to open a 9-3 lead.

Ben Revere had his first two Blue Jays hits and the bullpen was once again really good, although Latroy Hawkins had a bit of a shaky save allowing the tying run to get into scoring position. He shut the door with a pop out and a line drive to clinch the series for Toronto with the finale still to come tomorrow night. It was impressive to see the bullpen hold onto a lead when Aaron Sanchez (who started his three-game suspension after dropping his appeal) and Roberto Osuna were not available.

Anyone else get a lump in their throat when they saw Bo Schultz and Aaron Loup warming up in the ninth? Notably, Hawkins's save over the Twins meant he is the 13th pitcher in history to have a save against all 30 MLB teams.

The Blue Jays win allowed them to stay ahead of the Orioles, pull ahead of the Twins of the second Wild Card and keep pace with the Angels for the top Wild Card spot. They also (finally) gained a game on the Yankees and now are 4.5 games back.

Jays of the Day: Donaldson (.134) and Bautista (.311) led the way for the offence. Encarnacion (.076), Ryan Goins (.076) were close as well. I'll bump Goins up for a great double play turn. The relievers Liam Hendricks, Brett Cecil, Mark Lowe and Hawkins all were over .065 and allowed three baserunners over their inning each.

Jays Suckage: Drew Hutchison (-.253) held on to win and is somehow 10-2 on the year. Troy Tulowitzki was a -.104 despite the fact he scored on Donaldson's first inning home run.

Tomorrow the Jays close out the series against the Twins as Mark Buehrle goes up against Kyle Gibson.