The first one and a half innings? Great. The last seven innings? Grating.
Josh Donaldson was once again a one man wrecking crew. For the second straight game, he hit a solo shot in the first inning, to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. For the second straight day, he had a two home run game.
After Donaldson went yard, the Jays struck for more. Justin Smoak, Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar walked to loaded the bases with two out, followed by a fourth walk of Ryan Goins to push the second run home. Raffy Lopez added a two run single to make it 4-0, and Donaldson's second home in the 2nd pushed it to 5-0 with Kyle Gibson on the ropes.
With Joe Biagini retiring the side in order on the bottom of the 1st in eight pitch perfect inning, the Jays appeared poised for a relatively easy stroll to a series win. But the Twins came storming back. Eddie Rosario ed off with another home run. Byron Buxton continued laying waste to Jays pitching with a home run.
Biagini engaged in a number of long battles after that, but simply couldn't finish hitters off. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out, and a RBI single ended Biagini's afternoon at 5-3 with the bases loaded.
Tim Mayza could provide no relief. Joe Mauer hit a ground ball towards second base, by Goins couldn't come up with it, and two runs scored to tie the game. Another ground ball brought the run in from third, followed by another Rosario single and Buston double as the Twins batted around made it 7-5. The latter was off Luis Santos, replacing Mayza, and then he gave up another hard hit ball, but right at Smoak for the third out.
Santos sort of settled in, keeping the Twins off the board for the next two innings, albeit in messy fashion. But so did Gibson, as he retired the last 13 batters.
Chris Rowley came in for the 5th, and the Twins landed the knockout blow with a bat around inning. Four straight singles brought in a run to make it 8-5, with the bases loaded for Mauer. He demolished a ball for a grand slam, and it was 12-5. Eddie Rosario added another home run for good measure. Matt Dermody followed with a couple of decent scoreless innings; Leonel Campos added a perfect 8th inning. But it was academic at that point.
The bats briefly broke out of their stupor in the 7th, plating two off Aaron Slegers, the key hit a Smoak double. Then they went quietly into the early evening.
Jays of the Day: Donaldson (+0.140 WPA), Lopez (+0.117)
Suckage: To what should be no surprise, Biagini (-0.287), Mayza (-0.196, though some of that should probably go to the defenders), Rowley (-0.181).
Tomorrow, the Jays are off. Tuesday, they start the final homestand of 2017 against Kansas City at the usual 7:07 EDT start time, with Marcus Stroman scheduled to take on Sam Gaviglio.