Buxton hits 3 homers, Twins beat Blue Jays 7-2

TORONTO (AP) Byron Buxton knew his teammates were paying extra close attention when he stepped to the plate for the final time Sunday.

He delivered with one more big swing.

Buxton homered three times and set a career high with five RBIs , powering the Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

''He's got a lot of ways he can help you win games,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''His legs, bunting, home runs, defense, arm. It's fun to watch some of that talent start to flourish.''

Buxton had four hits, scored four runs and stole a base in his first career multihomer game. Kyle Gibson pitched into the seventh inning as Minnesota earned a rare series victory north of the border.

''He's a pretty spectacular player,'' Gibson said. ''He's really coming into his own now.''

Coming into the day, the Twins had a half-game lead over the Angels and Mariners in the race for the second AL wild card. Minnesota has won a major league-best 15 games since Aug. 6.

Nori Aoki homered for the Blue Jays, who have dropped seven of nine. Aoki went 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

Buxton hit an RBI single in the first. He reached on a fielder's choice in the third and scored on Kennys Vargas' two-run single. Then he chased Joe Biagini (3-9) with a two-out homer in the fourth.

Buxton opened the seventh with a second-deck drive off Matt Dermody and capped his afternoon with a first-pitch leadoff drive against Tim Mayza in the ninth.

''Everyone was kind of top-stepping it leading off that inning with the day that he was having,'' Molitor said. ''He didn't make us wait very long.''

Buxton said his teammates were giving him ''the eye'' as he stepped to the plate for his final at bat, but insisted he wasn't trying for a third home run.

''Not even close,'' he said. ''I had no intentions. I just went up there and was trying to have a quality at-bat.''

It was the eighth three-homer game in Twins history and the second this season. Eddie Rosario hit three homers in a 20-7 win over Seattle on June 13.

Buxton went 7 for 13 with seven RBIs in the series. Eight of his 13 home runs have come in August, including five in his past seven games.

''He's got as much talent as anybody out there in the game,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Gibson (8-10) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, helping the Twins to their second series win in Toronto since 2005. Minnesota also took two of three at Rogers Centre in June 2014.

Promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to make his first major league start since July 2, Biagini allowed five runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. Biagini is 2-8 with a 6.02 ERA in 12 starts this season.

''The ball was definitely up in the zone, they barreled it pretty good,'' Gibbons said.

SONIC BOOM

Molitor enjoyed listening to the crack of the bat on all three Buxton homers.

''They all had a nice sound,'' Molitor said. ''You get a nice reverberation there where I stand. They were no-doubters.''

Ks FOR JAYS

Blue Jays pitchers recorded a season-best 17 strikeouts. It was the eighth time in team history they've struck out that many.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: INF Miguel Sano (left shin) could see more time at designated hitter when he returns from the disabled list, Molitor said. Sano, who last played Aug. 19, has yet to resume baseball activities. He leads the Twins with 28 homers and 77 RBIs.

WORTH NOTING

Blue Jays outfielders Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar got the day off. ... To open a roster spot for Biagnini, right-hander T.J. House was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Twins: Following an off day, the Twins begin a three-game home series against the White Sox on Tuesday. RHP Ervin Santana (13-7, 3.24 ERA) starts for the Twins against RHP James Shields (2-4, 5.63 ERA). Santana is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four starts against the White Sox this season.

Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (11-6, 3.17 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against Boston on Monday night. Stroman is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this season. LHP Drew Pomeranz (13-4, 3.18 ERA) starts for the Red Sox.

---

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Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
TwinsMIN67-63
1022001017141
Blue JaysTOR61-69
010100000271
  • W: K. Gibson (8-10)L: J. Biagini (3-9)
  • HR: MIN - B. Buxton 3 (13), TOR - N. Aoki (5)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Dozier 2B50100035.259.345.473.8181.5
J. Mauer 1B51200012.296.377.405.7834.5
J. Polanco SS51200012.253.300.390.6894.5
E. Rosario LF51100014.291.331.492.8231.5
B. Buxton CF54453002.249.311.404.71524.0
M. Kepler RF30000230.246.314.434.7480.5
K. Vargas DH50220033.245.297.429.7262.5
E. Escobar 3B50100033.252.312.402.715-0.5
C. Gimenez C30100122.211.326.375.7011.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    E. Carrera CF40100004.301.375.448.8221.0
    J. Donaldson 3B30000111.260.383.532.9150.5
    J. Smoak 1B40100001.289.364.570.9331.0
    S. Pearce LF40000002.267.337.469.8050.0
    K. Morales DH40000031.244.303.436.740-1.5
    M. Montero C41100020.231.317.375.6922.0
    N. Aoki RF41321000.274.319.402.7219.0
    R. Goins SS30100021.226.277.339.6150.0
    D. Barney 2B30000013.220.264.291.555-0.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Polanco 2 (24)
      • 3B - J. Mauer
      • HR - B. Buxton 3 (13)
      • RBI - B. Buxton 5 (37), K. Vargas 2 (33)
      • 2-Out RBI - B. Buxton 3 (12)
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Montero (5)
      • HR - N. Aoki (5)
      • RBI - N. Aoki 2 (27)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - B. Dozier (14), B. Buxton (24)
      BASERUNNING
      • Picked Off - J. Donaldson
      FIELDING
      • DP - J. Mauer, B. Dozier, J. Polanco
      • E - J. Polanco (17)
      FIELDING
      • E - J. Donaldson (12)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      K. Gibson (W, 8-10)6.27221715.591.6521.5
      T. Hildenberger1.00000002.861.063.0
      T. Rogers0.10000003.561.270.0
      M. Belisle1.00000204.441.254.0
      PITCHERSIP
      K. Gibson (W, 8-10)6.2
      T. Hildenberger1.0
      T. Rogers0.1
      M. Belisle1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Biagini (L, 3-9)3.29553415.401.40-11.0
      A. Loup1.11000404.041.534.0
      M. Dermody2.02110417.841.655.0
      D. Leone1.01000202.551.083.0
      T. Mayza1.01110316.141.642.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Biagini (L, 3-9)3.2
      A. Loup1.1
      M. Dermody2.0
      D. Leone1.0
      T. Mayza1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - K. Gibson 108-68, T. Hildenberger 15-9, T. Rogers 3-2, M. Belisle 15-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - K. Gibson 8-4, T. Hildenberger 2-1
      • Batters Faced - K. Gibson 27, T. Hildenberger 3, T. Rogers, M. Belisle 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Biagini 85-50, A. Loup 21-16, M. Dermody 43-28, D. Leone 15-11, T. Mayza 20-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Biagini 5-2, M. Dermody 1-1, D. Leone 1-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Biagini 23, A. Loup 5, M. Dermody 8, D. Leone 4, T. Mayza 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      TwinsMIN67-63
      1022001017141
      Blue JaysTOR61-69
      010100000271
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      B. Dozier 2B50100035.259.345.473.8181.5
      J. Mauer 1B51200012.296.377.405.7834.5
      J. Polanco SS51200012.253.300.390.6894.5
      E. Rosario LF51100014.291.331.492.8231.5
      B. Buxton CF54453002.249.311.404.71524.0
      M. Kepler RF30000230.246.314.434.7480.5
      K. Vargas DH50220033.245.297.429.7262.5
      E. Escobar 3B50100033.252.312.402.715-0.5
      C. Gimenez C30100122.211.326.375.7011.0
      Total417147331723-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        E. Carrera CF40100004.301.375.448.8221.0
        J. Donaldson 3B30000111.260.383.532.9150.5
        J. Smoak 1B40100001.289.364.570.9331.0
        S. Pearce LF40000002.267.337.469.8050.0
        K. Morales DH40000031.244.303.436.740-1.5
        M. Montero C41100020.231.317.375.6922.0
        N. Aoki RF41321000.274.319.402.7219.0
        R. Goins SS30100021.226.277.339.6150.0
        D. Barney 2B30000013.220.264.291.555-0.5
        Total3327211913-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Polanco 2 (24)
          • 3B - J. Mauer
          • HR - B. Buxton 3 (13)
          • RBI - B. Buxton 5 (37), K. Vargas 2 (33)
          • 2-Out RBI - B. Buxton 3 (12)
          BATTING
          • 2B - M. Montero (5)
          • HR - N. Aoki (5)
          • RBI - N. Aoki 2 (27)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - B. Dozier (14), B. Buxton (24)
          BASERUNNING
          • Picked Off - J. Donaldson
          FIELDING
          • DP - J. Mauer, B. Dozier, J. Polanco
          • E - J. Polanco (17)
          FIELDING
          • E - J. Donaldson (12)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          K. Gibson (W, 8-10)6.27221715.591.6521.5
          T. Hildenberger1.00000002.861.063.0
          T. Rogers0.10000003.561.270.0
          M. Belisle1.00000204.441.254.0
          Total9.0722191---
          PITCHERSIP
          K. Gibson (W, 8-10)6.2
          T. Hildenberger1.0
          T. Rogers0.1
          M. Belisle1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Biagini (L, 3-9)3.29553415.401.40-11.0
          A. Loup1.11000404.041.534.0
          M. Dermody2.02110417.841.655.0
          D. Leone1.01000202.551.083.0
          T. Mayza1.01110316.141.642.5
          Total9.014773173---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Biagini (L, 3-9)3.2
          A. Loup1.1
          M. Dermody2.0
          D. Leone1.0
          T. Mayza1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - K. Gibson 108-68, T. Hildenberger 15-9, T. Rogers 3-2, M. Belisle 15-11
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - K. Gibson 8-4, T. Hildenberger 2-1
          • Batters Faced - K. Gibson 27, T. Hildenberger 3, T. Rogers, M. Belisle 3
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Biagini 85-50, A. Loup 21-16, M. Dermody 43-28, D. Leone 15-11, T. Mayza 20-14
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Biagini 5-2, M. Dermody 1-1, D. Leone 1-0
          • Batters Faced - J. Biagini 23, A. Loup 5, M. Dermody 8, D. Leone 4, T. Mayza 4
          • 9TH INNING
            Buxton homered to left72
          • 7TH INNING
            Buxton homered to left62
          • 4TH INNING
            Aoki homered to right52
            Buxton homered to left, Mauer scored51
          • 3RD INNING
            Vargas singled to left, Rosario and Buxton scored, Kepler to second31
          • 2ND INNING
            Aoki singled to center, Montero scored11
          • 1ST INNING
            Buxton singled to center, Polanco scored, Rosario to third on 3rd baseman Donaldson fielding error10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Tim Mayza relieved Dominic Leone
            • B. Buxton: Buxton homered to left
            • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
            • K. Vargas: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Vargas struck out looking
            • E. Escobar: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Matt Belisle relieved Taylor Rogers
            • K. Morales: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Morales struck out swinging
            • M. Montero: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Montero struck out swinging
            • N. Aoki: Ball, Aoki flied out to deep right
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Dominic Leone relieved Matt Dermody
            • B. Dozier: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Dozier singled to left
            • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Mauer struck out looking
            • J. Polanco: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier stole second
            • E. Rosario: Foul, Rosario grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • T. Hildenberger Pitching:
            • J. Donaldson: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Donaldson grounded out to third
            • J. Smoak: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Smoak flied out to center
            • Taylor Rogers relieved Trevor Hildenberger
            • S. Pearce: Ball, Strike looking, Pearce lined out to third
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • M. Dermody Pitching:
            • B. Buxton: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Buxton homered to left
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
            • K. Vargas: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Vargas struck out swinging
            • E. Escobar: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Escobar singled to left
            • C. Gimenez: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gimenez struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • N. Aoki: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Aoki singled to center
            • R. Goins: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Goins struck out swinging
            • D. Barney: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Barney flied out to deep center
            • Trevor Hildenberger relieved Kyle Gibson
            • E. Carrera: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Carrera grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • Matt Dermody relieved Aaron Loup
            • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Mauer grounded out to first
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike swinging, Polanco flied out to left
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • S. Pearce: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Pearce grounded out to shortstop
            • K. Morales: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Morales struck out swinging
            • M. Montero: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Montero struck out looking
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • A. Loup Pitching:
            • K. Vargas: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Vargas singled to right center
            • E. Escobar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
            • C. Gimenez: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Gimenez struck out looking
            • B. Dozier: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Dozier struck out looking
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • E. Carrera: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Carrera grounded out to second
            • J. Donaldson: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Donaldson grounded out to third
            • J. Smoak: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Smoak grounded out to second
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Biagini Pitching:
            • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Mauer tripled to right
            • J. Polanco: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Polanco grounded out to pitcher
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Rosario grounded out to first
            • B. Buxton: Strike looking, Buxton homered to left, Mauer scored
            • Aaron Loup relieved Joe Biagini
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 4th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • M. Montero: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Montero lined out to center
            • N. Aoki: Aoki homered to right
            • R. Goins: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Goins struck out swinging
            • D. Barney: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Barney struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Biagini Pitching:
            • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Ball, Polanco doubled to center
            • E. Rosario: Foul, Rosario singled to right, Polanco to third
            • B. Buxton: Ball, Strike looking, Buxton reached on fielder's choice to third, Polanco out at home, Rosario to third, Buxton to second
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Kepler walked
            • K. Vargas: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Vargas singled to left, Rosario and Buxton scored, Kepler to second
            • E. Escobar: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
            • C. Gimenez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gimenez walked, Kepler to third, Vargas to second
            • B. Dozier: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • J. Donaldson: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Donaldson walked
            • J. Smoak: Donaldson picked off at first, pitcher to first, Ball, Smoak singled to center
            • S. Pearce: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Pearce flied out to center
            • K. Morales: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Morales struck out looking
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Biagini Pitching:
            • E. Escobar: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Escobar flied out to deep center
            • C. Gimenez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gimenez singled to center
            • B. Dozier: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • J. Mauer: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Mauer popped out to second
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • K. Morales: Ball, Ball, Morales grounded out to second
            • M. Montero: Ball, Strike swinging, Montero doubled to left center
            • N. Aoki: Strike looking, Aoki singled to center, Montero scored
            • R. Goins: Goins singled to right, Aoki to second
            • D. Barney: Strike looking, Barney reached on fielder's choice to second, Aoki to third, Goins to second on shortstop Polanco fielding error
            • E. Carrera: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Carrera grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Barney out at second
            • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Biagini Pitching:
            • B. Dozier: Strike looking, Dozier grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Mauer singled to left center
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Polanco doubled to deep right, Mauer to third
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Rosario reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Mauer out at home
            • B. Buxton: Ball, Buxton singled to center, Polanco scored, Rosario to third on 3rd baseman Donaldson fielding error
            • M. Kepler: Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Buxton stole second, Ball, Ball, Ball, Kepler walked
            • K. Vargas: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Vargas struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
            • K. Gibson Pitching:
            • E. Carrera: Ball, Carrera singled to center
            • J. Donaldson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Donaldson struck out swinging
            • J. Smoak: Smoak flied out to left
            • S. Pearce: Strike looking, Pearce grounded out to second
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)