HRs power Twins to win over Blue Jays

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

TORONTO (AP) — It wasn't his leaping catch at the center-field wall that Minnesota's Max Kepler liked most about Monday's game, or his two-run homer.

It was the final score.

Logan Morrison homered and had three RBIs, Kepler added a two-run blast and the Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3, snapping a three-game losing streak.

"It's a good feeling," Kepler said. "We'll build off that."

Joe Mauer and Mitch Garver each had three hits and right-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings for his first win of the season as the Twins bounced back after being swept at Kansas City over the weekend.

The Twins had 13 hits, all in the first five innings. It's the fourth time this month Minnesota has collected 13 hits in a game.

"After Kansas City, we had to come out and swing the bats well," manager Paul Molitor said. "A lot of guys had good nights."

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays. Toronto swept a three-game series from Baltimore over the weekend but couldn't extend its winning streak against the Twins.

Promoted from Triple-A Rochester to make his second start of the season, Mejia allowed one run and eight hits.

"To get into the sixth inning and only give up one run, you've got to be pleased with that," Molitor said.

Mejia left with the bases loaded but Matt Belisle came on and retired two straight to escape the jam.

The Blue Jays gave right-hander Luis Santos his first career start because right-hander Marco Estrada remains sidelined with a strained left gluteal muscle. Santos (0-1) allowed one run and three hits in two innings.

"It didn't work too well," manager John Gibbons said of the parade of relievers. "At the big league level you never want to do that, but sometimes you have to."

Eduardo Escobar hit an RBI triple off Santos in the first and Morrison delivered a tworun single off left-hander Tim Mayza in the third.

Gurriel homered in the bottom half, his fifth, but Mauer and Escobar hit RBI singles in the fourth before Morrison and Kepler both connected off Joe Biagini in Minnesota's three-run fifth.

Kepler's 13th homer came after he struck out in his first two at-bats.

"I felt like I was swinging too hard," he said. "I just tried to put an easy swing on that one to put it in play and it snuck out."

Morrison is 4 for 10 in his past two games after returning from the disabled list Saturday. He'd been out since July 11 because of a sore left hip.

"Usually it takes guys a little bit of time to get back in the swing of things but he looks great," Kepler said.

Kepler ran all the way from left-center to right-center to retire Randal Grichuk in the third, jumping into the outfield scoreboard to make the grab.

"Surprisingly it didn't hurt that bad," Kepler said. "My knee kind of went into that plastic cover but it feels fine."


Twins RHP Jose Berrios (9-7, 3.68) faces Blue Jays LHP Ryan Borucki (0-1, 3.52) on Tuesday. Berrios matched a season worst by allowing six earned runs in his previous outing, July 14 against Tampa Bay. Borucki will be called up from Buffalo to make his fifth big league start.