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Minnesota at Toronto

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Minnesota (77-63)000000000040
Toronto (73-66) «10001115x9170

Litsch four-hits Twins, helps Jays complete three-game sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- The Minnesota Twins would have been a lot happier if this marathon road trip had ended one city sooner.

Jesse Litsch threw a four-hit shutout and the Toronto Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep with a 9-0 victory against the Twins on Thursday night.

Minnesota wrapped up a season-long 14-game road trip at 5-9 and fell 1½ games behind the idle Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. The Twins have lost nine of 12.

"We've got to get home and see if we can right the ship," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Minnesota started its trip on the West Coast with four against the Angels, three in Seattle and four at Oakland. A day off in Toronto before facing the Blue Jays only made the journey feel even longer.

"We were here for four days but it feels like we were here for a week," outfielder Denard Span said. "The days did seem longer. I woke up in the morning and it seemed like time just kept going. It seemed like it took forever."

Minnesota catcher Mike Redmond agreed.

"In my 10 years in the big leagues, that's the longest I've ever been on the road," Redmond said. "Being here, it started to drag. It really got to be long the last three days, especially the way the games went."

After suffering three walk-off losses on the trip, the Twins were blown out in the finale, suffering their sixth sweep of the year.

"We're reeling a little bit," Redmond said. "It was a little bit frustrating out there, even for me. That happens when you want to win and you want something so bad. We couldn't seem to get a break. We couldn't seem to get a ball to go up the middle. It seems like everybody is making diving play after diving play out there. That gets old."

Litsch (10-8) walked two and struck out three and is 2-1 with a 0.94 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A on Aug. 14.

Redmond said Litsch kept the Twins off balance with an array of cutters and sliders.

"He's all over the zone," Redmond said. "He throws strikes but everything is moving."

Travis Snider hit his first career home run and went 3-for-4 with two RBI to help Toronto beat Minnesota for the ninth consecutive meeting. He also walked and scored twice while Joe Inglett and Alex Rios each drove in a pair as Toronto broke it open with a five-run eighth inning.

Vernon Wells also homered for Toronto, which has won five straight.

Snider, 20, had his first career multihit game Wednesday in an 11-inning victory, going 3-for-5 with three singles. He needed only three at-bats to match that total Thursday, singling in the second, homering to begin the fifth and driving in a run with an RBI single in the sixth. He walked and scored in the eighth.

"Man, he's something," manager Cito Gaston said. "He's very calm, he doesn't get excited. He handles himself up there well."

Toronto's first-round draft pick in 2006, Snider began the season with Class A Dunedin, spending only 17 games there before being promoted to Double-A. He reached Triple-A in early August and was called up to Toronto on Aug. 28 when Matt Stairs was traded to Philadelphia.

Snider, who said he had to keep himself from sprinting round the bases on his home run, also made an impression on Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey.

"He certainly learns pretty quickly," Slowey said. "You're not going to get him out the same way twice."

Slowey (11-9) didn't get the chance to retire Snider even once, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings and losing for the first time in six starts. He walked none and struck out three.

Toronto opened the scoring in the first when Inglett was hit by a pitch, went to third on singles by Marco Scutaro and Rios and scored on Wells' sacrifice fly.

The Twins put runners at first and third with two outs in the third, but Litsch got Justin Morneau on a comebacker to the mound.

Wells hit a two-out, solo home run in the seventh, his 16th.

Fans chanted "Replay" when a Rod Barajas drive hooked in front of the left field foul screen in the sixth. Barajas flied out to deep right on the next pitch.

Notes

  • Joe Mauer, who on Wednesday caught all 11 innings of a loss, started at DH on Thursday, with Redmond taking over behind the plate.
  • The Twins will play 12 of their remaining 22 games at home, but still have a 10-game, three-city road trip that takes them to Baltimore, Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Minnesota is 31-40 on the road.
 
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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Jesse Litsch greets Barajas after the pitcher improves to 2-1 with a 0.94 ERA since being recalled. (AP)
Jesse Litsch greets Barajas after the pitcher improves to 2-1 with a 0.94 ERA since being recalled. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

J. Litsch
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 2
K 3
Toronto

T. Snider
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF4020011 .299
Alexi Casilla, 2B4000003 .290
Joe Mauer, DH1000200 .322
   a- Matt Macri, PH-DH1000000 .344
Justin Morneau, 1B3000003 .311
   b- Randy Ruiz, PH1000010 .296
Jason Kubel, RF3000000 .275
   c- Jason Pridie, PH1000000 .000
Delmon Young, LF3010000 .287
Mike Redmond, C3000001 .274
Matt Tolbert, 3B3000011 .267
Nick Punto, SS3010000 .288
Totals3004023  
a-flied out for Mauer in the 9th
b-struck out for Morneau in the 9th
c-lined out for Kubel in the 9th
Batting
2B - Nick Punto (17, Litsch)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Tolbert-Casilla-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (L,11-9) 5.21033031 3.75
Craig Breslow 0.1000010 2.33
Jesse Crain 0.2111011 4.04
Dennys Reyes 0.1000000 2.29
Bobby Korecky 0.1344100 6.75
Philip Humber 0.2311000 13.50
HBP - Inglett (by Kevin Slowey)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 89-61, Craig Breslow 4-3, Jesse Crain 16-12, Dennys Reyes 5-3, Bobby Korecky 22-13, Philip Humber 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 5-8, Dennys Reyes 1-0, Philip Humber 2-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 27, Craig Breslow 1, Jesse Crain 3, Dennys Reyes 1, Bobby Korecky 5, Philip Humber 5
Toronto Blue Jays
Joe Inglett, 2B4222013 .304
Marco Scutaro, SS4010012 .264
Alex Rios, RF5122001 .295
Vernon Wells, CF4122001 .300
Adam Lind, DH5131002 .302
Rod Barajas, C5110016 .255
Lyle Overbay, 1B4010012 .272
Scott Rolen, 3B4120011 .250
Travis Snider, LF3232100 .467
Totals38917915  
Batting
2B - Joe Inglett (12, Korecky), Adam Lind (12, Humber)
HR - Vernon Wells (16, Crain), Travis Snider (1, Slowey)
SF - Vernon Wells (7)
SH - Marco Scutaro (5)
RBI - Joe Inglett 2 (33), Alex Rios 2 (64), Vernon Wells 2 (66), Adam Lind (38), Travis Snider 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rios 2 (17), Vernon Wells (26), Adam Lind (11), Travis Snider (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Overbay-Scutaro
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch (W,10-8) 9400230 3.76
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 115-78
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 15-8
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 32
Game Information
Attendance - 25128
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Angel Hernandez