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Minnesota at Toronto

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Minnesota (29-33)200000002490
Toronto (39-26) «3000100015100

Pillar's single in ninth lifts Blue Jays past Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- A pregame pep talk from Jose Bautista helped Kevin Pillar deliver the decisive hit for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Pillar singled home the winning run in the ninth and the Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins 5-4 on Monday night.

Pillar, who wasn't in the starting lineup, was taking swings in the indoor cage shortly before the game when Bautista offered some encouragement.

''He just said, `Prepare yourself throughout the game, and when you get a chance, go out there and be aggressive,''' Pillar said. ''`Have good at-bats and put yourself in a situation to help the team win.'''

Pillar put those words to use when he came up with runners on first and second against Casey Fien in the ninth. After falling behind 0-2, Pillar took a ball, then lifted a single into shallow right field to score pinch-runner Erik Kratz.

''It was a slider off the plate and I was just able to nestle it in somewhere,'' Pillar said. ''And it feels good.''

The first two batters of the game homered for the Twins off R.A. Dickey, but Encarnacion's 20th of the season soon put Toronto ahead.

Jose Reyes added a solo shot for the Blue Jays, who squandered a two-run lead in the top of the ninth and then recovered to avoid their first three-game skid since May 9-11. Toronto was blanked in back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday by the St. Louis Cardinals.

''The last two games have been kind of tough for us,'' Reyes said. ''We're just happy to get this win.''

Dioner Navarro drew a leadoff walk from Matt Guerrier (0-1) in the ninth and was replaced by Kratz. Anthony Gose struck out trying to bunt and Fien came on to face Reyes, who singled. Pillar followed with the winning hit and Kratz slid home headfirst ahead of the throw from Oswaldo Arcia.

''You walk the leadoff guy, you give yourself pretty much a mess and anything can happen after that,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Casey Janssen (1-0) got the win after blowing his second save.

Newly signed slugger Kendrys Morales made his Twins debut, batting sixth and starting as the designated hitter. He went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk.

Encarnacion erased a 2-0 deficit with a two-out shot off Ricky Nolasco in the first. Baltimore's Nelson Cruz, with 21 home runs, is the only other player with 20 this season.

The drive snapped a streak of 18 scoreless innings for the Blue Jays.

Reyes hit a leadoff shot in the fifth and the Blue Jays boosted their major league-leading home run total to 91.

Minnesota jumped out to an early lead against Dickey when Danny Santana and Brian Dozier hit back-to-back homers in the first. It was the fourth leadoff homer of the season for the Twins and Santana's first.

Minnesota tied it against Janssen in the ninth after second baseman Steve Tolleson couldn't complete a double play on Trevor Plouffe's one-out grounder to third. Pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez went to second on defensive indifference and scored when Kurt Suzuki's sinking liner dropped in front of Pillar in left for an RBI double.

''It probably wasn't the right decision, but I feel like that's a catch I've made many times before,'' said Pillar, who replaced Melky Cabrera to start the ninth.

Eduardo Escobar followed with a tying double into shallow left.

Dickey allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Nolasco gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six.

''I thought I had some pretty decent stuff tonight besides the couple of mistakes,'' Nolasco said. ''They capitalized on that.''

Morales was called out on strikes in the first, grounded out in the fourth, walked in the sixth and singled in the ninth.

Notes

Minnesota OF Aaron Hicks (right shoulder) was held out of the starting lineup but came on as a pinch-runner in the ninth. ... The Twins signed SS Nick Gordon, the fifth overall pick in last week's first-year player draft. He's the son of three-time All-Star pitcher Tom Gordon. ... Blue Jays RHP Sergio Santos (elbow) has joined Double-A New Hampshire on a rehab assignment. ... Twins RHP Kevin Correia (2-7) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (5-2) on Tuesday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kevin Pillar and the Blue Jays celebrate a walk-off comeback win over the Twins to avoid a rare three-game skid. (USATSI)
Kevin Pillar and the Blue Jays celebrate a walk-off comeback win over the Twins to avoid a rare three-game skid. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Toronto

E. Encarnacion
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Minnesota

K. Suzuki
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Danny Santana, CF5121011 .364
Brian Dozier, 2B3111112 .246
Joe Mauer, 1B4000001 .259
Josh Willingham, LF4010020 .303
Oswaldo Arcia, RF2000100 .257
Kendrys Morales, DH3010111 .333
   Aaron Hicks, PR-DH0000000 .198
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4000002 .246
   Eduardo Nunez, PR-3B0100000 .291
Kurt Suzuki, C4131000 .307
Eduardo Escobar, SS4011002 .303
Ricky Nolasco, P0000000 .000
   Caleb Thielbar, P0000000 .000
   Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
Totals3349435  
Batting
2B - Kurt Suzuki (12, Janssen), Eduardo Escobar (19, Janssen)
3B - Josh Willingham (1, Dickey)
HR - Danny Santana (2, Dickey), Brian Dozier (13, Dickey)
RBI - Danny Santana (11), Brian Dozier (31), Kurt Suzuki (29), Eduardo Escobar (12)
2-OUT RBI - Kurt Suzuki (16), Eduardo Escobar (6)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Dozier-Escobar-Mauer
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ricky Nolasco 5.2744262 5.70
Caleb Thielbar 1.1000100 3.27
Matt Guerrier (L,0-1) 1.1111230 2.84
Casey Fien 0200000 2.42
IBB - Encarnacion by Matt Guerrier
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 114-71, Caleb Thielbar 15-10, Matt Guerrier 26-14, Casey Fien 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 6-4
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 25, Caleb Thielbar 4, Matt Guerrier 7, Casey Fien 2
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Reyes, SS5131000 .268
Melky Cabrera, LF4110011 .304
   Kevin Pillar, LF1011000 .250
Jose Bautista, RF3110111 .309
Adam Lind, DH4000024 .331
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B3123100 .270
Juan Francisco, 3B3000021 .248
   Steve Tolleson, 2B1000012 .286
Brett Lawrie, 2B-3B4020002 .242
Josh Thole, C1000100 .316
   a-Dioner Navarro, PH-C1000101 .258
   Erik Kratz, PR0100000 .236
Anthony Gose, CF3000123 .229
R.A. Dickey, P0000000 .000
   Dustin McGowan, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Loup, P0000000 .000
   Casey Janssen, P0000000 .000
Totals33510559  
a-flied out for Thole in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jose Bautista (11, Guerrier)
HR - Jose Reyes (4, Nolasco), Edwin Encarnacion (20, Nolasco)
RBI - Jose Reyes (18), Kevin Pillar (2), Edwin Encarnacion 3 (53)
2-OUT RBI - Edwin Encarnacion 3 (13)
SB - Jose Reyes 2 (14, 2nd base off Nolasco/Suzuki)
CS - Anthony Gose (2, 2nd base by Thielbar/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Reyes-Lawrie-Encarnacion, Reyes-Lawrie-Encarnacion-McGowan-Reyes-Encarnacion, Reyes-Lawrie-Encarnacion-McGowan-Reyes-Encarnacion-Loup-Reyes-Encarnacion
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
R.A. Dickey 5.1522232 4.20
Dustin McGowan (H,5) 1.2100000 4.09
Aaron Loup (H,12) 1000110 3.45
Casey Janssen (W,1-0; BS,2) 1322010 1.42
HBP - Arcia (by R.A. Dickey)
Pitches-Strikes - R.A. Dickey 101-66, Dustin McGowan 14-9, Aaron Loup 12-6, Casey Janssen 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R.A. Dickey 8-5, Dustin McGowan 2-1, Aaron Loup 1-0, Casey Janssen 1-1
Batters Faced - R.A. Dickey 24, Dustin McGowan 4, Aaron Loup 3, Casey Janssen 6
Game Information
Attendance - 19428
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Sean Barber, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Eric Cooper