Toronto at Minnesota

Blue Jays 9, Twins 3 wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Toronto Blue Jays were getting mowed down by Phil Hughes through the first five innings on a chilly night at Target Field, but the big swingers never panicked.

The Jays have a long history of beating up on the former Yankees right-hander, so they knew it was only a matter of time before they got him in his new home in Minnesota.

Jose Bautista had three hits and an RBI, and Brett Lawrie hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to help the Blue Jays beat the Twins 9-3 on Tuesday night.

Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and an RBI, and Aaron Loup (1-0) won in relief of starter Brandon Morrow, who lasted 3 2/3 innings in 35-degree weather. The Blue Jays led 5-2 going into the ninth before Lawrie's towering drive off Jared Burton put it away.

"I think it just took a little bit of getting used to," said Lawrie, who drove in five runs. "We didn't hit [batting practice] today. We just rolled into town, so we kind of just hit in the cages and rolled right out into the game. So it just took a little bit to adjust once we got in the box. Once we got a few hits, it just started snowballing."

Chris Colabello had three hits and an RBI, and Trevor Plouffe hit a solo home run for the Twins. But Hughes (0-1) watched an impressive start go to waste in Toronto's five-run sixth inning.

"He was cruising before that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I thought the ball was coming out of his hand really good. All of a sudden I think it was three or four hits in a row and I don't know what happened. He just couldn't get a ball where he wanted to and they put some really nice swings on the ball."

Hughes gave up four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts in five-plus innings, snapping Minnesota's three-game winning streak.

Munenori Kawasaki had two hits, including a double, after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo to help replace Maicer Izturis, who is out for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee. Designated hitter Adam Lind, who had a walk, a single and scored a run, left in the seventh inning with tightness in his lower back.

The Blue Jays have historically hit the ball very well at pitcher-friendly Target Field and they were going against one of their favorite pitchers in Hughes, who faced them many times over the years with the New York Yankees. Toronto hit 15 home runs off Hughes in 116 2/3 innings while he was in pinstripes.

Hughes kept the ball in the ballpark and kept the Blue Jays off balance through five. He recorded all seven of his strikeouts and needed just 74 pitches to get to the sixth.

Then it all came apart. Hughes gave up four quick hits to start the inning, including RBI singles by Bautista and Encarnacion to get chased with two on and nobody out. Michael Tonkin gave up a single to load the bases, and a throwing error from catcher Kurt Suzuki later in the inning allowed Dioner Navarro to score for a 5-2 lead.

The big inning helped Toronto overcome a rough start from Morrow, who threw 98 pitches and couldn't get out of the fourth. Morrow gave up two runs and four hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

"We've got a good hitting team," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I figured that was not going to last very long. Hughes was tough on us early but we had that one big inning where we broke it open."

Bautista played center field because Colby Rasmus needed an extra day to rest his ailing hamstring. It was the slugger's first start there since 2009 and he badly misplayed a sinking liner from Pedro Florimon, letting the ball get behind him for a triple.

Florimon scored on a single by Joe Mauer, who struck out three times, for a 2-0 lead.


It was Lawrie's second career grand slam. ... Kawasaki was ruled out in the first inning when he laid down a bunt but stepped out of the batter's box with his left foot before making contact with the ball, which is illegal. ... Twins assistant GM Ron Antony said OF Oswaldo Arcia, on the disabled list with an injured wrist, received a cortisone injection in hopes of speeding his recovery. ... Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 7.84 ERA) pitches Wednesday night against RHP R.A. Dickey (1-2, 5.30).

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Toronto Blue Jays
Melky Cabrera, LF4010112 .323
Munenori Kawasaki, 2B5120003 .400
Jose Bautista, CF5131011 .267
Adam Lind, DH2110111 .324
   a-Josh Thole, PH-DH2000002 .375
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B4221114 .241
Dioner Navarro, C4210115 .235
Moises Sierra, RF4111102 .133
Brett Lawrie, 3B4115012 .132
Ryan Goins, SS5020010 .152
Brandon Morrow, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Loup, P0000000 .000
   Neil Wagner, P0000000 .000
   Brett Cecil, P0000000 .000
   Steve Delabar, P0000000 .000
   Sergio Santos, P0000000 .000
a-hit into fielder's choice-bunting for Lind in the 7th
2B - Munenori Kawasaki (1, Hughes), Jose Bautista (2, Hughes)
HR - Brett Lawrie (3, Burton)
SF - Brett Lawrie (1)
RBI - Jose Bautista (10), Edwin Encarnacion (3), Moises Sierra (1), Brett Lawrie 5 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Brett Lawrie 4 (5)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Kawasaki-Goins-Encarnacion
E - Edwin Encarnacion (1, Misplayed grounder)
Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Morrow 3.2422440 5.52
Aaron Loup (W,1-0) 1.1000110 3.00
Neil Wagner (H,2) 1.2000010 2.08
Brett Cecil (H,4) 1100120 0.00
Steve Delabar (H,2) 0.1000000 3.38
Sergio Santos 1211011 3.38
HBP - Kubel (by Aaron Loup)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 98-55, Aaron Loup 23-13, Neil Wagner 19-14, Brett Cecil 20-10, Steve Delabar 4-3, Sergio Santos 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 4-3, Aaron Loup 1-2, Neil Wagner 2-3, Brett Cecil 1-0, Steve Delabar 1-0, Sergio Santos 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 19, Aaron Loup 6, Neil Wagner 6, Brett Cecil 5, Steve Delabar 1, Sergio Santos 4
Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B3100214 .180
Joe Mauer, 1B5011033 .278
Trevor Plouffe, 3B5111013 .314
Chris Colabello, RF5031000 .306
Jason Kubel, LF3000101 .357
Josmil Pinto, DH3000123 .207
Kurt Suzuki, C3000103 .243
Aaron Hicks, CF3000121 .186
Pedro Florimon, SS2110000 .094
   a-Eduardo Escobar, PH-SS1010000 .273
Phil Hughes, P0000000 .000
   Michael Tonkin, P0000000 .000
   Caleb Thielbar, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Swarzak, P0000000 .000
   Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Florimon in the 8th
2B - Chris Colabello (6, Morrow)
3B - Pedro Florimon (1, Morrow)
HR - Trevor Plouffe (1, Santos)
SH - Pedro Florimon (2)
RBI - Joe Mauer (5), Trevor Plouffe (9), Chris Colabello (15)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer (2), Chris Colabello (11)
SB - Aaron Hicks (2, 2nd base off Morrow/Navarro)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Florimon-Dozier-Mauer
E - Kurt Suzuki (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Phil Hughes (L,0-1) 5844170 7.20
Michael Tonkin 1211000 3.00
Caleb Thielbar 0.1200000 3.60
Anthony Swarzak 1.2100100 8.10
Jared Burton 1144301 14.40
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 87-60, Michael Tonkin 16-10, Caleb Thielbar 14-9, Anthony Swarzak 18-10, Jared Burton 35-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 4-3, Michael Tonkin 2-1, Caleb Thielbar 1-0, Anthony Swarzak 3-2, Jared Burton 3-0
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 23, Michael Tonkin 5, Caleb Thielbar 3, Anthony Swarzak 7, Jared Burton 7
Game Information
Attendance - 21818
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 35
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Pat Hoberg, Third Base - Tom Hallion