Buxton’s blast keys Twins win

The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor hoped for Byron Buxton to simply get on base with two outs in the 10th inning, knowing the possibilities of what his centerfielder could do on the bases with his speed.

Buxton instead showed off his power.

Buxton’s 10th-inning homer gave the Twins their second straight walk-off victory, a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.

A night after Eddie Rosario beat the San Diego Padres with a 10th-inning homer, Buxton connected off Toronto’s Luis Santos with two outs. Buxton’s 15th homer didn’t leave much suspense as it reached the second deck in left field.

“For him to be able to put a good swing, I know he’s been battling, we talk about the hand all the time, but he’s found a way to compete each and every night,” Molitor said. “No complaints. He’s just going out there and tonight he walks off the game’s hero.”

Buxton has been playing through a hand injury which knocked him out for one game at the start of the month. He has 10 homers and 25 RBIs in his last 31 games, and he’s hit four homers in four games against the Blue Jays this season.

“Heck, we haven’t been able to keep him in the park,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He’s going to be a great, great player.”

Talking to reporters with his left hand heavily wrapped after the game, Buxton said he got a tip from teammates who faced Santos in the minors that the right-handed reliever likes to rely on off-speed pitches.

After taking a fastball for a 1-0 count, Buxton waited and got a breaking pitch over the plate for his first career walk-off hit.

“It just pushes us,” Buxton said of the second straight walk-off win. “It shows how much character we got as a team to keep fighting and not give up. Every at-bat is a fight for us. We go out there and try to have quality at-bats and keep the line moving.”

Dillon Gee (2-2) pitched one inning of relief for Minnesota, which earned its fifth walk-off win of the season and has won six of its past eight games. The Twins maintained their lead for the second wild card in the American League.

Santos (0-1) recorded two outs in the loss. Justin Smoak tied the game for the Jays with a two-out homer in the top of the ninth off Minnesota closer Matt Belisle.



ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nelson Cruz went 4 for 4 with a home run and Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer as Seattle defeated Texas.

The Mariners remained 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card.


PHOENIX (AP) — A.J. Pollock had four RBIs for the second straight day, J.D. Martinez homered for the 10th time in 11 games and Arizona extended its NL wild-card lead by beating Colorado.



CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians added a walk-off win to a streak that’s had everything.

Jay Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th inning as the Indians rallied for their 22nd straight win to extend their AL record, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Thursday night to move within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest streak in major league history.

After blowouts, shutouts and oh-so-easy wins, the Indians, who tied it in the ninth on Francisco Lindor’s two-out, two-strike RBI double, went into extras for the first time to keep the longest streak in 101 years intact.

As Progressive Field shook like it usually does in October, Bruce reached second base and was quickly mobbed his teammates, who doused him with ice water.