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Toronto at Minnesota

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Toronto (39-38) «000022100584
Minnesota (39-37)0210001004110

Blue Jays 5, Twins 4

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A pair of small adjustments paid big dividends for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Gregg Zaun hit a two-run homer and Toronto overcame four errors to beat the Twins 5-4 Wednesday, the Blue Jays' fifth win in six games.

After Boof Bonser (5-4) walked Frank Thomas in the sixth inning, Zaun homered over the right-field baggie for a 4-3 lead, completing Toronto's comeback from an early 3-0 deficit.

Two innings earlier Zaun hit a similarly located fastball off the end of his bat resulting in a fly ball to right field. Watching video between at-bats, he noticed a small timing glitch in his swing.

"I was able to keep my frontside on the ball a little bit longer and get my backside working through it," he said. "I was able to get the barrel where I wanted it to be in the right position, instead of being out front and around it."

Josh Towers (3-5) gave up seven hits and three earned runs in the first three innings, but settled down to get his first win as a starter since April 15. He allowed just two hits in the next 3 1/3 innings.

Jeremy Accardo pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for his 10th save in 12 chances.

"I was getting frustrated because they had a lot of base hits and were running on us," Towers said. "I tried to make an adjustment with my arm slot and I thought the slider got better, so my confidence grew a little bit."

Towers returned to Toronto's rotation on June 7 after being demoted to the bullpen after four starts in April. In his previous outing last Friday, he was tagged for five runs and 11 hits in four innings by Colorado.

Early on, it looked as if though those numbers might be repeated.

Nick Punto singled home Jason Kubel in the second to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. An errant pickoff attempt by Towers moved Punto to third and he scored on a passed ball by Zaun on the next pitch.

An RBI single by Torii Hunter gave Minnesota a 3-0 lead in the third, but center fielder Vernon Wells threw out Michael Cuddyer at the plate to prevent another run from crossing.

"We had opportunities and just didn't get them in," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "That's what happened early in the game. You have a chance to put a guy away with a big hit or two. We scored three, though. You get a lead you should be able to hold it."

It was the second straight night that a Toronto outfielder struck down a Minnesota baserunner at the plate. Alex Rios threw out Hunter on Tuesday.

"Zaun is one of the best I've ever seen at blocking the plate," Towers said. "He did a good job and Vernon put the ball on the money. It's a good play. It's a momentum builder, a momentum swing."

Toronto began to get to Bonser in the fifth, making him go deeper into counts and closing the deficit to 3-2. Howie Clark hit an RBI double and scored on a groundout by Wells.

"He looked like he quit attacking. You walk people, you get hurt," Gardenhire said. "He couldn't locate the fastball. When you start missing with your fastball, then all you can throw is the other stuff, you are going to get behind in the count."

Bonser fell to 1-3 with a 6.91 ERA in five June starts. He went 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in six May starts.

"Obviously, this month hasn't been going my way. I have to go out there in another five days and try to turn stuff around," he said. "I am in a slump. It is like when a hitter goes 0-for-10 or whatever. It's a bad month."

Zaun's third homer put the Blue Jays ahead, and a sacrifice fly by Rios in the seventh gave Toronto a 5-3 lead.

Minnesota scored once in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Hunter, but Brian Wolfe struck out Kubel with two runners on.

"Wolfe was a key guy," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "He comes in with the bases loaded and gets Hunter to fly out and then he got a big strikeout on Kubel."

Notes

Thomas went 1-for-2 with two walks and stayed at 499 career home runs. ... After the game, Toronto activated A.J. Burnett from the 15-day disabled list and returned Ty Taubenheim to Triple-A Syracuse. ... Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau, out since Friday with a bruised lung, passed more medical tests Wednesday, and is expected to soon hit in the batting cage. Cuddyer started at 1B for the second straight game. ... For the first time this year, Aaron Hill did not start at second base for Toronto. Clark got the nod. ... Minnesota's Luis Castillo had his AL-leading 30th infield hit of the year in the seventh.

 
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

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Toronto

G. Zaun
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Toronto Blue Jays
Vernon Wells, CF4011001 .250
Alex Rios, RF3011001 .288
Matt Stairs, 1B4000002 .287
Troy Glaus, 3B3000100 .280
Frank Thomas, DH2110201 .238
Gregg Zaun, C4112012 .227
Adam Lind, LF4110001 .230
Howie Clark, 2B3121010 .364
    Aaron Hill, 2B1000010 .276
Royce Clayton, SS3110011 .236
Totals3158534  
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (19, Bonser), Adam Lind (10, Bonser), Howie Clark (2, Bonser), Royce Clayton (11, Bonser)
HR - Gregg Zaun (3, Bonser)
SF - Alex Rios (5)
SH - Royce Clayton (3)
RBI - Vernon Wells (43), Alex Rios (45), Gregg Zaun 2 (19), Howie Clark (2)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Vernon Wells 1
PB - Gregg Zaun (1)
E - Royce Clayton (6, Throwing), Matt Stairs 2 (3, Throwing), Josh Towers (3, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Towers (W,3-5) 6.1943020 5.59
Scott Downs0100100 2.61
Brian Wolfe (H,1) 1000110 3.18
Brian Tallet (H,1) 0.1100000 2.73
Jeremy Accardo (S,10) 1.1000010 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Towers 85-62, Scott Downs 6-2, Brian Wolfe 11-7, Brian Tallet 6-3, Jeremy Accardo 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Towers 10-8, Brian Tallet 1-0, Jeremy Accardo 3-0
Batters Faced - Josh Towers 29, Scott Downs 2, Brian Wolfe 4, Brian Tallet 2, Jeremy Accardo 4
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B5120000 .304
Jason Bartlett, SS5120023 .252
Joe Mauer, DH5010001 .310
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4020102 .289
Torii Hunter, CF4012003 .304
Jason Kubel, LF4120014 .252
Mike Redmond, C4000003 .289
Lew Ford, RF3000101 .247
Nick Punto, 3B4111012 .217
Totals38411324  
Batting
SF - Torii Hunter (2)
RBI - Torii Hunter 2 (59), Nick Punto (14)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Punto (7)
SB - Jason Bartlett (13, 3rd base off Towers/Zaun), Joe Mauer (5, 2nd base off Towers/Zaun)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Guerrier-Bartlett-Cuddyer, Bartlett-Castillo-Cuddyer
Minnesota Twins
Boof Bonser (L,5-4) 6755221 4.65
Matt Guerrier 1.2100100 1.93
Dennys Reyes 0.2000000 4.67
Pat Neshek 0.2000020 1.18
Pitches-Strikes - Boof Bonser 94-54, Matt Guerrier 17-9, Dennys Reyes 3-2, Pat Neshek 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 10-6, Matt Guerrier 2-1, Dennys Reyes 1-1
Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 27, Matt Guerrier 5, Dennys Reyes 2, Pat Neshek 2
Game Information
Attendance - 30959
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Mike Winters