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Twins edge Jays, move season-high 10 games over .500

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Kyle Lohse is doing what teammate Johan Santana does, limiting his repertoire to three pitches and having success.

Lohse pitched seven strong innings, and Juan Castro and Shannon Stewart hit back-to-back homers to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

The 26-year-old right-hander was removed from the rotation in early May so he could concentrate on three pitches instead of five. He's allowed just seven runs in five starts since then, dropping his ERA from 6.65 to 4.22.

"It's good enough for a Cy Young Winner in Johan, so I guess I can try it," said Lohse of Santana, who also throws a fastball, slider and changeup. "You just watch the command he has with those pitches. He doesn't need to mess around."

Lohse (4-3) allowed just one run and six hits, while striking out three and walking none. He's made three consecutive quality starts, his first such stretch since Sept. 13-24, 2003.

"I worked on three pitches instead of five, and ever since then it's been pretty good. My command has been great," Lohse said.

Minnesota has won eight of 11 to move 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. Twins starters have pitched at least six innings in 40 of 48 games this season.

"Lohse is throwing the ball fantastic," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's locating his fastball. His slider is darting in and out and he's throwing a good changeup. We cut him down to three pitches, and he's mastered those three pitches. I think that's got him in a really nice groove."

Castro narrowly missed a home run in the fifth inning after his ball hooked foul, but he hit David Bush's next pitch for his second homer in two days.

Stewart followed with a home run into Toronto's bullpen, the third time Minnesota has hit consecutive home runs this season. He has homered in three straight games.

"I hope we keep it going," Castro said.

Lohse was struck on the right thigh by a line drive in the first inning and stayed in the game. Joe Nathan allowed Aaron Hill's two-run double with one out in the ninth inning, but he struck out Russ Adams and got Gregg Zaun to foul out to third base for his 15th save in 17 chances.

"It got a little more exciting than we wanted it to get," Gardenhire said.

The Blue Jays have lost two straight after sweeping Boston in a three-game series.

Bush (0-5), who hasn't won in 10 starts this season, allowed four runs -- two earned -- and six hits in just 4 2/3 innings. He pitched just three innings in his last start, and he's not happy about manager John Gibbons' quick hook.

"I would like to stay in there a little longer," Bush said.

Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer walked in the second, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored after first baseman Eric Hinske dropped a throw for an error.

Castro followed with a single before Stewart hit an RBI single, giving Minnesota a 2-0 lead.

Reed Johnson's RBI single in the third inning cut Toronto's deficit to 2-1.

Notes

Twins C Joe Mauer didn't start for the fourth straight game because of a tight right groin. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer probably won't play until Tuesday at the earliest. The Twins have Monday off. ... Minnesota's Nick Punto singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... The Blue Jays have won the season series just twice in six years and are just 10-15 at home against Minnesota since 1999.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Minnesota

S. Stewart
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Toronto

A. Hill
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Minnesota Twins
Shannon Stewart, LF4122000 .298
Nick Punto, 2B4010022 .295
Lew Ford, DH4000001 .275
Justin Morneau, 1B4000001 .299
Torii Hunter, CF4000010 .241
Jacque Jones, RF4000020 .278
Michael Cuddyer, 3B3110110 .265
Mike Redmond, C3100000 .273
Juan Castro, SS3121000 .275
Totals33463164 
Batting
HR - Shannon Stewart (8, Bush), Juan Castro (3, Bush)
RBI - Shannon Stewart 2 (24), Juan Castro (8)
2-OUT RBI - Shannon Stewart (11)
CS - Michael Cuddyer (3, 2nd base by Bush/Huckaby)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Michael Cuddyer (10, Wild throw), Justin Morneau (3, Wild throw)
Minnesota Twins
Kyle Lohse (W,4-3) 7611030 4.22
Juan Rincon (H,9) 1000020 2.66
Joe Nathan (S,15) 1322010 2.82
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 90-63, Juan Rincon 12-8, Joe Nathan 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 12-6, Juan Rincon 1-0
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 27, Juan Rincon 3, Joe Nathan 6
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4011000 .308
Orlando Hudson, 2B4010011 .263
Alex Rios, RF4000011 .284
Shea Hillenbrand, DH4000011 .325
Eric Hinske, 1B4120010 .293
Vernon Wells, CF4120011 .227
Aaron Hill, 3B4132000 .429
Russ Adams, SS4000013 .243
Ken Huckaby, C2000001 .140
   a- Gregg Zaun, PH-C2000003 .271
Totals363930611 
a-popped out for Huckaby in the 7th
Batting
2B - Orlando Hudson (10, Lohse), Aaron Hill (3, Nathan)
RBI - Reed Johnson (20), Aaron Hill 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson (7)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
PB - Ken Huckaby (1)
E - Eric Hinske (3, Missed catch)
Toronto Blue Jays
Dave Bush (L,0-5) 4.2642112 4.89
Scott Downs 3.1000020 2.38
Miguel Batista 1000030 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 77-48, Scott Downs 38-24, Miguel Batista 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 9-4, Scott Downs 5-3
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 21, Scott Downs 10, Miguel Batista 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29263
Game Time - 2:16
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Ed Montague