Twins use 2 big frames to build on WC lead 18 Sep 17

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins erased an early five-run deficit with a pair of huge innings to power past the Blue Jays, 13-7, on Sunday at Target Field. With the win, Minnesota split the four-game set and increased its lead over the Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot to two games.

Minnesota batted around in both the second and fifth innings, pouring in seven and six runs in each frame, respectively. Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton hit back-to-back homers in the second, while Buxton added an RBI double later in the inning. Rosario went deep again in the fifth after a grand slam by Joe Mauer. Both Buxton and Mauer finished a triple shy of the cycle.

It proved to be more than enough run support to back Minnesota right-hander Kyle Gibson, who recovered after surrendering five runs in the first two innings. Gibson retired the final 13 batters he faced before exiting after six innings, during which he allowed three hits and five walks while striking out eight.

“This one in some ways is maybe a little more impressive,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of Gibson. “To give us six innings after that start was pretty good for us. We found a way to win one of the bigger [deficits] we faced in the last couple weeks.”

Josh Donaldson belted a pair of homers in his first two at-bats against Gibson. The former AL Most Valuable Player notched his fifth multi-homer game of the season and second in as many days. Donaldson, who has 30 dingers this season, became just the second Blue Jays player to hit 30 or more home runs in each of his first three seasons with the club.

Blue Jays starter Joe Biagini took the loss after allowing six runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings, while reliever Chris Rowley allowed all six Twins runs in the fifth inning.

“I put them in a tough position for what they want to do,” Biagini said. “I don’t blame them for taking me out. I wish I would have gotten a chance to stay in, fight through it and limit the damage. But I understand what they’re thinking, so I don’t blame anybody.”