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Toronto at Minnesota

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Toronto «0020010014110
Minnesota000000000071

Blue Jays continue torment of Twins, who drop third in a row

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Downs gave the Toronto Blue Jays exactly what they needed in a spot start.

Downs worked five innings and Reed Johnson hit a two-run homer for the second straight game to help the Blue Jays beat the Twins 4-0 Saturday night, handing the Twins their fifth straight home loss and third straight overall.

The Twins grounded into five double plays to tie a club record and had six overall. With one out in the third, Jason Bartlett was caught running the bases after a flyout to right. Toronto's six converted double plays, also tying a club record, were the most by the Blue Jays since April 16, 1996, against Detroit.

"They just kept giving us ground balls," said Aaron Hill, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Downs alone got the Twins to hit into four double plays.

"When you want to stay in the game as long as you can, especially making spot starts, the double play is your best bet," Downs said.

Downs (6-1) allowed four hits, struck out one and walked one in his fourth start of the season as the Blue Jays' pitchers continued to frustrate the Twins' offense. In the first three games of the four-game series, Toronto has held Minnesota to one run and 17 hits.

"Your bats go silent, you get frustrated," said Torii Hunter, who took a painful pitch to his left hand in the eighth but stayed in the game. "We just can't get it done. I've seen better pitching, but we just haven't gotten it done."

Downs entered the game 11-13 in his career as a starter with no-decisions in each of his previous three starts. But he was strong against Minnesota, and Brian Tallet, Brandon League and Scott Schoeneweis combined for four innings of scoreless relief.

In his previous start, Downs lasted only two innings and gave up two runs and six hits in a 6-3 win against Baltimore.

"I know I can keep the team in the game, whether I'm in the bullpen or making spot starts," Downs said. "For the most part I just kept the ball down and stayed ahead in the pitch count. They put some decent swings on them, they were just hitting them into the infield."

Twins starter Boof Bonser (2-4) wasn't too bad Saturday night either, but the few mistakes he made were magnified by the lack of run support. Bonser lasted 5 2-3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out five.

After the game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Bonser would remain in the starting rotation.

"It feels good," Bonser said. "But at the same time, I've just got to go out there in my next start and do the same thing I did tonight: Put up zeros."

Johnson hit a 2-1 pitch from Bonser in the third into the left-field seats. Hill also scored on Johnson' ninth home run of the season after hitting a leadoff single up the middle.

Johnson also hit a two-run homer in Friday's 7-1 victory against rookie right-hander Matt Garza.

Then in the sixth, Lyle Overbay followed Troy Glaus' two-out single with a double to center that made it 3-0. Bonser was pulled for Pat Neshek, who struck out Alex Rios to end the inning.

Hill singled in Overbay with two outs in the ninth.

Notes

  • Hunter was scheduled to have X-rays taken for his hand on Sunday morning.
  • Hill's single in the seventh was the first hit Neshek had allowed in 27 batters.
  • Rios reached on an error in the fourth, although replays showed 1B Justin Morneau may have nicked Rios' heel with his glove for the out despite 3B Nick Punto's low throw. Gardenhire unsuccessfully argued the call.
 
Copyright 2014 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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For the second straight night a Twins rookie pitcher -- this time Boof Bonser -- gets the loss.  (AP)
For the second straight night a Twins rookie pitcher -- this time Boof Bonser -- gets the loss. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

L. Overbay
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Toronto

S. Downs
IP 5.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 1
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4112031
Frank Catalanotto, DH4010010
Vernon Wells, CF4010011
Troy Glaus, 3B4110012
Lyle Overbay, 1B4131000
Alex Rios, RF4010011
Gregg Zaun, C4000003
Aaron Hill, 2B4131000
John McDonald, SS4000023
Totals3641140911 
Batting
2B - Lyle Overbay 2 (, Bonser, Bonser)
HR - Reed Johnson (, Bonser)
RBI - Reed Johnson 2 (), Lyle Overbay (), Aaron Hill ()
2-OUT RBI - Lyle Overbay (), Aaron Hill ()
CS - Aaron Hill (, 2nd base by Neshek/Mauer)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Rios 1
DP - Hill-McDonald-Overbay, Rios-Overbay, Hill-McDonald-Overbay, Glaus-Hill-Overbay, Hill-McDonald-Overbay, Hill-McDonald-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Downs (W,-) 5400110
Brian Tallet (H,) 2100020
Brandon League (H,) 1100000
Scott Schoeneweis 1100000
HBP - Hunter (by Brandon League)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Downs 75-45, Brian Tallet 24-17, Brandon League 12-8, Scott Schoeneweis 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Downs 5-6, Brian Tallet 3-0, Brandon League 2-0, Scott Schoeneweis 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Downs 17, Brian Tallet 6, Brandon League 4, Scott Schoeneweis 3
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B4010012
Nick Punto, 3B4010011
Joe Mauer, C4000001
Michael Cuddyer, RF3000010
Justin Morneau, 1B3010000
Torii Hunter, CF2010000
Josh Rabe, DH2010001
   a- Jason Tyner, PH-DH1010000
Lew Ford, LF2000001
   b- Jason Kubel, PH-LF1000001
Jason Bartlett, SS2010101
Totals28070138 
a-singled for Rabe in the 8th
b-grounded into a double play for Ford in the 8th
Batting
2B - Josh Rabe (, Downs)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Bartlett-Morneau, Bartlett-Castillo-Morneau
E - Jason Bartlett (, )
Minnesota Twins
Boof Bonser (L,-) 5.2733051
Pat Neshek 2.1200040
Juan Rincon 1211000
Pitches-Strikes - Boof Bonser 85-63, Pat Neshek 27-22, Juan Rincon 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 7-4, Juan Rincon 1-2
Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 23, Pat Neshek 8, Juan Rincon 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36261
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Ed Rapuano