MINNEAPOLIS – Justin Smoak and Russell Martin homered, Yangervis Solarte had three hits and the Toronto Blue Jays edged the Minnesota Twins for a 7-5 win on Monday night.
Smoak hit a towering, two-run shot to cap a three-run fourth inning to stake Toronto to a 5-0 lead. Martin added a solo homer to the second deck in left field an inning later as the Blue Jays won their second game in a row.
The Twins have lost 10 of their past 11 games.
Even with slugger Josh Donaldson on the disabled list and Jose Bautista gone, Toronto is powering up again. The Blue Jays entered the night tied for second in the majors in home runs.
Aaron Sanchez (2-2) was the beneficiary of the run support. He pitched six innings and allowed four runs and six hits and three walks. Roberto Osuna allowed two hits in the ninth, but stranded runners at second and third to earn his seventh save in eight chances.
Minnesota’s Lance Lynn (0-3) struggled with his command again and couldn’t get past the fifth inning for the fourth time in five starts this season. Lynn gave up six runs in five innings. He allowed seven hits and walked five batters. He has an 8.37 ERA for the season.
At one point, he threw nine straight balls and he walked Curtis Granderson with the bases loaded in the second.
Eduardo Escobar hit his fourth homer of the season for Minnesota, a two-run blast to the berm in straightaway centre in the fifth.
Max Kepler had three hits, including an RBI double in the seventh, but Logan Morrison popped out with two runners on in the inning against reliever Danny Barnes.
Blue Jays: OF Randal Grichuk was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right knee sprain, the result of an awkward, diving catch in Sunday’s win against Texas. The team recalled IF Gift Ngoepe from Triple-A Buffalo.
Twins: 3B Miguel Sano missed his third straight game with left hamstring tightness. Manager Paul Molitor said Sano has not made much progress and could be looking at a stint on the disabled list if he doesn’t show improvement soon. … OF Byron Buxton, on the 10-day disabled list after a migraine first sidelined him, stood in while pitchers threw their bullpens on Monday but isn’t ready to run because of a hairline fracture in his toe.
Right-hander Marco Estrada (2-2, 6.00 ERA) starts Tuesday for Toronto in the second game of the three-game series. Minnesota counters with right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.33). Estrada has allowed five runs in back-to-back outings, totalling 10 innings pitched. Gibson pitched six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in a no-decision against the New York Yankees in his previous outing.