Josh Donaldson hit three home runs, including the go-ahead blast in the seventh as the Toronto Blue Jays completed the three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 9-6 win on Sunday afternoon.
Donaldson’s two-run homer (74-56) in the seventh gave Toronto the 6-5 lead and helped extend the Twins’ (49-81) losing streak to 10 games.
He followed that by completing the homer trifecta with a solo shot to dead-centre in the eighth, his 33rd. The third baseman’s first career three-home run game helped Toronto rally from a 5-2 deficit after coming back from a 5-0 deficit Saturday.
Blue Jays’ starter R.A. Dickey gave up five runs, three earned, over six innings, scattering six hits and three walks.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson threw 5 1/3 innings allowing four runs and eight hits.
Jose Bautista led off the seventh with a single, his third hit of the day, and Donaldson followed that up with a centre-field bomb off Pat Light, his 32nd of the season.
Light gave up a single to Troy Tulowitzki later in the inning and was replaced by J.T. Chargois, who didn’t fare much better. Chargois walked Kevin Pillar and was tagged with a two-run double by Melvin Upton Jr., giving Toronto a three-run lead.
Light (0-1) took the loss while Scott Feldman (7-4) who pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief earned the win.
Toronto got on the board quickly as Bautista led off the first with a double to right-centre as Twins’ outfielders Robbie Grossman and Danny Santana collided attempting to corral the fly ball, allowing it to drop in. Edwin Encarnacion later drove in Bautista with a sacrifice fly giving Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Santana left the game with a left shoulder sprain as a result of the collision and was replaced by Eddie Rosario in centre field.
In the third, Rosario came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Max Kepler. Rosario hit a hard single into right field and reached second on Donaldson’s throwing error on Brian Dozier’s tailor-made double-play ball. Kepler’s fielder’s choice later with the bases loaded and one out scored Rosario.
Donaldson made up for his ninth error of the season almost immediately, smoking a Gibson offering into the second deck in left in the bottom half. The third baseman’s 31st homer of the year gave the Jays a 2-1 lead.
Dickey ran into trouble in the fifth giving up a one-out single to Rosario, followed by walking Dozier and Joe Mauer to load up the bases for Kepler once again. The 23-year-old rookie tied up the game for the second time on a fielder’s choice RBI. With two outs, Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano delivered clutch RBI singles as Minnesota stretched their lead to 5-2.
Tulowitzki responded by leading off the sixth with his 22nd homer of the season, a no-doubter over the centre field wall. Pillar followed with a double and came around to score on a Devon Travis’ RBI single, making it 5-4.
Joe Mauer hit an RBI single in the ninth off Roberto Osuna to make it 9-6.
NOTES: LHP Aaron Loup cleared waivers and was optioned to Triple A-Buffalo, 47,444 in attendance for ‘Canada Baseball Day’
The Canadian Press via Sportsnet.ca
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