TORONTO — Michael A. Taylor homered and drove in all three Minnesota runs as the Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 in 10 innings Friday night at Rogers Centre.
Taylor hit a sacrifice fly off Blue Jays sidearmer Adam Cimber (0-1) that brought home Ryan Jeffers with the go-ahead run. Left-fielder Whit Merrifield was charged with a throwing error on the play.
Jeffers started the inning on second base as the automatic runner. He moved to third on an infield single by Royce Lewis.
With Kevin Kiermaier on second base to start the Toronto half of the 10th, Jhoan Duran (2-2) issued a one-out walk to Merrifield before striking out Daulton Varsho.
Santiago Espinal, who scored both runs for the Blue Jays (36-29), popped up to end it.
Minnesota (32-32) ended its season-high five-game losing skid.
It was Toronto’s first loss in four games. The Blue Jays left 12 runners on base.
Yusei Kikuchi gave up a double to open the game, but the Twins couldn’t capitalize.
The left-handed starter eventually settled in and retired eight in a row until Lewis beat out an infield single in the fifth.
Lewis would score on Taylor’s two-run shot and his ninth home run of the season.
The Blue Jays halved the deficit against Twins starter Sonny Gray in the bottom half when Bo Bichette singled to bring home Espinal from second base.
Kikuchi allowed four hits, a walk and two earned runs over five innings. He had four strikeouts.
Gray also lasted five frames. He allowed one earned run, five hits and a pair of walks while fanning five.
With reliever Nate Pearson on the hill, Chapman made a highlight-reel defensive play in the sixth. He fully extended his frame to snag a scorching liner by Kyle Farmer near the third-base line.
The Blue Jays tied it when pinch-hitter George Springer welcomed Twins reliever Brock Stewart to the game with a double that scored Espinal.
Springer took third base on the throw, but was stranded when pinch-hitter Alejandro Kirk struck out.
Announced attendance was 35,222 on the first night of the Blue Jays’ Pride Weekend. The game took two hours 59 minutes to play.
The Blue Jays designated right-hander Anthony Bass for assignment before the game and reinstated right-hander Mitch White (elbow) from the 60-day injured list.
The Twins placed left-hander Caleb Thielbar on the 15-day IL with a right oblique strain. The move was retroactive to June 6.
Longtime LGBTQ advocate leZlie Lee Kam helped kick off Pride Weekend by throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
Bass was originally tabbed to catch the ball, but right-hander Kevin Gausman filled in instead.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2023.