First-place Blue Jays shut out for third time in four games
TORONTO – Brian Dozier homered and Minnesota starter Kevin Correia threw six-plus scoreless innings as the Twins defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.
Brian Duensing, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins completed the seven-hit shutout as Minnesota (30-33) won for the second time in six games.
It was the third shutout loss in four games for the Blue Jays, who started the day 5 1/2 games up on second-place Baltimore in the American League East standings. The Twins are in last place in the AL Central division.
Toronto (39-27) pulled out a 5-4 walkoff win in the series opener Monday after dropping a pair of 5-0 decisions to the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. The Twins and Blue Jays will close out the three-game series with a matinee on Wednesday.
Minnesota leadoff man Danny Santana opened the game with a walk and scored when Dozier homered in his first at-bat for the second straight night. He turned on an 0-1 pitch from Toronto starter J.A. Happ (5-3) for his 14th home run of the season.
The Blue Jays put runners on in the bottom of the first after one-out singles by Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista. Edwin Encarnacion flew out and Adam Lind left them stranded by grounding out.
Toronto loaded the bases in the second inning but couldn’t push a run across. Jose Reyes hit a comebacker that Correia (3-7) deftly speared as he spun around on his follow-through. He threw home for the force out and then got Cabrera to ground out.
In the fourth, Happ nearly escaped unscathed after the Twins loaded the bases with nobody out. He struck out Kurt Suzuki and fanned Eduardo Escobar before Santana hit a dribbler to Juan Francisco.
The Toronto third baseman barehanded the ball and threw to first base even though there was little chance of catching the speedy leadoff man. The throw was high and bounced into the stands, allowing two runs to come across.
Chad Jenkins came on in relief with two runners in scoring position. He got Dozier to hit a sharp grounder to Francisco, who this time delivered a crisp throw to first to retire the side.
Correia, meanwhile, retired 13 straight batters before giving up a two-out single to Lind in the sixth. Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., grounded out to end the inning.
Correia’s night came to an end when Dioner Navarro singled to open the seventh. The right-hander gave up six hits and a walk and had one strikeout.
Duensing came on in relief and struck out pinch-hitter Steve Tolleson before getting pinch-hitter Kevin Pillar to hit into a fielder’s choice. Pillar moved to second base on a Reyes single but Cabrera followed with a lineout.
Happ allowed six hits, three earned runs, three walks and struck out three over 3 2/3 innings. Announced attendance was 20,681 and the game took three hours seven minutes to play.
© The Canadian Press, 2014