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Minnesota at Toronto

Scoreboard
Minnesota (70-70)001010000270
Toronto (63-77) «10011000x360

Jays nip Twins, stop them from gaining ground in AL Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Minnesota keeps failing to pressure Detroit in the AL Central.

Jose Bautista hit a solo homer, Brett Cecil won his final start of the season and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Twins 3-2 Thursday.

"It's a game we needed to win, and we didn't do it," Morneau said. "That's why we're a .500 team."

Minnesota (70-70), which began the day 5½ games back of the Tigers, has not won consecutive games since taking three in a row from Aug. 30-Sept. 1. The Twins went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position Thursday and are averaging just 3.2 runs during their past 10 games.

"You give up three runs, you should have an opportunity to win," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Unfortunately for us, our offense never could get anything going."

Minnesota is batting .237 (72 for 304) in September.

"I'm trying my best not to do everything, just to keep it simple still," designated hitter Jason Kubel said. "But given the circumstances, it's kind of hard not to go out there and try to win the game yourself."

The Twins begin a nine-game homestand Friday that starts with three each against struggling Oakland and Cleveland. They'll face the Tigers for three starting next Friday.

"We're just trying to hang on and try to gain some ground until we play Detroit," starter Scott Baker said. "We obviously don't have a lot of room to lose any more games, that's for sure."

The Twins also play a four-game series at Detroit from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.

One night after the teams drew 11,159, the smallest crowd in the 20-year history of Rogers Centre, attendance was 11,461, the second-lowest this season. Toronto averaged 12,315 for the four-game series.

Minnesota's Joe Mauer went 0 for 4, dropping his major league-leading average to .363.

Cecil (7-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. Toronto is stopping his season after he pitched a combined 142 1/3 innings in the majors and at Triple-A.

"To finish like that, I still have a lot of stuff to work on but it's really good, really positive," Cecil said.

Jeremy Accardo, Jesse Carlson and Shawn Camp each got one out in the seventh, Scott Downs pitched the eight, and Jason Frasor finished for his eighth save in 10 chances.

"It all starts with pitching and Cecil pitched a good ball game for us," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "The guys came out of the bullpen and shut everything down."

As the Blue Jays headed to Detroit after the game, they dressed Cecil and nine other rookies in Toronto Argonauts cheerleaders costumes for the flight.

"This will be a first," Cecil said.

Baker (13-8) lost for the first time since July 7, giving up three runs, five hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. He had been 7-0 in his previous 11 starts.

"He still gave us a great chance to win, we just couldn't get any runs for him," Mauer said.

Toronto went ahead in the first when Joe Inglett walked and scored on Adam Lind's double.

Denard Span tied it in the third with a leadoff homer, but Bautista's fifth homer of the year put Toronto back on top in the fourth.

Minnesota tied it again in the fifth when Nick Punto doubled and scored on Orlando Cabrera's RBI single but Toronto moved in front for good in the bottom half. John McDonald led off with a double, took third on a grounder and scored on Lind's sacrifice fly.

Notes

  • Toronto RHP Roy Halladay will get an extra day of rest before his next start, Tuesday at New York. LHP David Purcey will make his first start since April on Monday at Detroit.
  • Inglett returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore ankle.
  • OF Vernon Wells and SS Marco Scutaro were held out of Toronto's starting lineup but Wells came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth.
  • The Twins are 19-30 in day games.
  • .Ten of the 13 hits were for extra bases, including eight doubles.
 
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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Jays pitcher Brett Cecil allows two runs over six innings in his final start of the season.  (AP)
Jays pitcher Brett Cecil allows two runs over six innings in his final start of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

J. Bautista
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Toronto

B. Cecil
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 1
K 3
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF4111012 .308
Orlando Cabrera, SS4021001 .275
Joe Mauer, C4000012 .363
Justin Morneau, 1B4000002 .276
Jason Kubel, DH4010010 .305
Michael Cuddyer, RF4010011 .269
Delmon Young, LF4010011 .265
Brendan Harris, 3B1000201 .263
    Matt Tolbert, PR-3B0000000 .178
   a- Jose Morales, PH1000000 .338
Nick Punto, 2B3110003 .222
Totals3327225  
a-flied out for Tolbert in the 9th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (30, Cecil), Michael Cuddyer (31, Cecil), Delmon Young (11, Cecil), Nick Punto (12, Cecil)
HR - Denard Span (7, Cecil)
RBI - Denard Span (55), Orlando Cabrera (58)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Punto-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (L,13-8) 6.2533471 4.33
Ron Mahay 0.2000000 4.53
Jesse Crain 0.2100000 5.53
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 104-68, Ron Mahay 9-4, Jesse Crain 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 1-12, Ron Mahay 1-1, Jesse Crain 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 29, Ron Mahay 2, Jesse Crain 2
Toronto Blue Jays
Joe Inglett, 2B3100111 .282
Travis Snider, RF-LF2010201 .234
Adam Lind, LF3012012 .301
    Vernon Wells, CF0000000 .252
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000013 .265
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4010021 .200
Randy Ruiz, DH4000011 .269
Jose Bautista, CF-RF2121100 .229
Raul Chavez, C3000012 .268
John McDonald, SS3110001 .261
Totals2836347  
Batting
2B - Travis Snider (10, Baker), Adam Lind (46, Baker), Jose Bautista (11, Baker), John McDonald (6, Baker)
HR - Jose Bautista (5, Baker)
SF - Adam Lind (3)
RBI - Adam Lind 2 (96), Jose Bautista (22)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista (11)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Encarnacion-Inglett-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Cecil (W,7-4) 6722131 5.30
Jeremy Accardo (H,3) 0.1000100 2.45
Jesse Carlson (H,11) 0.1000010 4.55
Shawn Camp (H,4) 0.1000000 3.49
Scott Downs (H,7) 1000000 2.93
Jason Frasor (S,8) 1000010 2.19
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Cecil 100-62, Jeremy Accardo 5-1, Jesse Carlson 5-3, Shawn Camp 2-2, Scott Downs 7-7, Jason Frasor 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Cecil 7-7, Jeremy Accardo 1-0, Shawn Camp 1-0, Scott Downs 3-0, Jason Frasor 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Cecil 25, Jeremy Accardo 2, Jesse Carlson 1, Shawn Camp 1, Scott Downs 3, Jason Frasor 3
Game Information
Attendance - 11461
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Paul Nauert