MINNEAPOLIS – Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson started the game with back-to-back home runs off Phil Hughes in a three-run first inning, and Marcus Stroman bounced back from his worst major league start to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Sunday.
Bautista homered on the fourth pitch from Hughes (1-7), his 14th home run in 21 career games at Target Field. Donaldson, ejected in the first inning Saturday, connected three pitches later for his 11th home run, a 425-foot drive to straightaway centre field. Troy Tulowitzki added an RBI double later in the inning.
Stroman (5-1) allowed one run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings, one start after giving up career-highs of seven runs and 13 hits in a loss to Tampa Bay. Roberto Osuna got four straight outs for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Hughes, who leads in the major leagues in losses, allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings. The right-hander left 75 pitches, complaining of fatigue in his pitching shoulder.
Bautista homered for the third straight game and has the most homers at Target Field among visiting players.
Kurt Suzuki hit an RBI groundout in the second after Oswaldo Arcia’s double put runners at second and third, starting a stretch in which Stroman retired 17 of 18 batters.
A day after Donaldson was ejected by umpire Toby Basner in the first inning, John Gibbons got the early exit from crew chief Joe West in the fifth – the fourth ejection of the year for the Toronto manager.
Donaldson stared at the Twins’ dugout as he crossed home plate on his homer. Hughes threw two pitches to the AL MVP in the fifth, one inside and one behind him. Donaldson expressed his displeasure to plate umpire Mark Ripperger.
Gibbons came out of the dugout and argued with Ripperger and West, who came in from his spot at first base, then was tossed. Stroman hit Suzuki with a pitch in the bottom of the inning.
Gibbons was ejected from last Sunday’s game at Texas, then returned to the field during a brawl between the teams, earning a three-game suspension for both the return and inciting fighting.