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Associated Press, Published July 06 2013

Pelfrey, Dozier carry Twins to win against Toronto

TORONTO – With an afternoon start looming the next day, Mike Pelfrey had already gone back to the hotel when Twins manager Ron Gardenhire held a postgame meeting Friday night, urging his slumping team to lighten up.

Pelfrey might have missed the meeting, but he couldn’t miss the message.

Brian Dozier hit a three-run home run, Pelfrey and three relievers combined for a four-hitter and the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0 on Saturday.

“It must have been a good meeting,” Pelfrey joked. “We scored six.”

Dozier had two hits and four RBIs, connecting off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for his eighth homer as the Twins snapped a six-game skid and won for just the fourth time in 14 games.

“Today we went out and everybody was running around, the dugout was hooting and hollering and it was a little bit better atmosphere,” Gardenhire said.

Minnesota came in having lost 17 of 23 to Toronto, including eight of nine at Rogers Centre.

Pitching for the first time since June 18 after landing on the disabled list with a strained back, Pelfrey (4-6) snapped an eight-start winless streak to earn his first victory since May 5 at Cleveland. He allowed three hits in six innings, walked three and struck out two.

Caleb Thielbar worked the seventh, Jared Burton pitched the eighth and Glen Perkins finished.

“It was a great pitching effort,” Twins catcher Joe Mauer said. “To shut that team out is pretty good.”

Maicer Izturis had three of Toronto’s four hits as the Blue Jays lost for the seventh time in 10 games. Slugger Jose Bautista, who hit his 20th homer Friday, flied out to the warning track twice.

Pelfrey loaded the bases with three straight two-out walks in the first but Rajai Davis grounded out to end the threat.

“We couldn’t get anything going, that’s the bottom line,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We had that opportunity, it was really our only opportunity, in the first, and came up empty.”

Pelfrey said he tweaked his left groin in the shaky first, but was able to keep pitching.

“He said he just made an adjustment in his windup and everything went good from there,” Gardenhire said. “It’s fine, he pitched through it no problems, and he’ll be fine for his next start.”

Chris Parmalee doubled to begin the second and moved to third on Aaron Hicks’ single but was caught in a rundown after Dickey snared Eduardo Escobar’s comebacker, leaving men at first and second. After the runners moved up on a passed ball, Brian Dozier hit an RBI grounder, Jamey Carroll hit an RBI double and Joe Mauer followed with a run-scoring single.

Parmalee doubled off Dickey again to open the seventh and Hicks walked but Parmalee was forced at third on Escobar’s bunt. Dozier followed with his first home run since June 21.

“A three-run home run is tough to overcome when you’ve already given up three,” Dickey said.

Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia suffered a bruised right hand when he was hit by a pitch from Dickey in the sixth. He stayed in the game but was replaced by Clete Thomas in the bottom of the seventh. X-rays were negative and Arcia is day-to-day.

Minnesota Toronto

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Dozier 2b 4 1 2 4 Reyes ss 4 0 0 0

Carroll 3b 4 1 1 1 Bautist rf 4 0 0 0

Mauer c 4 0 1 1 Encrnc 1b 3 0 0 0

Mornea 1b 4 0 0 0 Lind dh 3 0 0 0

Arcia lf 2 0 0 0 ClRsms cf 2 0 0 0

Thoms lf 1 0 0 0 RDavis lf 3 0 1 0

Plouffe dh 4 0 0 0 MIzturs 3b 3 0 3 0

Parmel rf 3 0 2 0 Thole c 3 0 0 0

Hicks cf 3 2 1 0 Kawsk 2b 3 0 0 0

EEscor ss 4 2 0 0

Totals 33 6 7 6 Totals 28 0 4 0

Minnesota 003 000 300— 6

Toronto 000 000 000— 0

E—E.Escobar (4). DP—Minnesota 2, Toronto 1. LOB—Minnesota 3, Toronto 4. 2B—Carroll (5), Parmelee 2 (12). HR—Dozier (8). SB—Arcia (1). CS—Reyes (1), R.Davis (3).

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

Pelfrey W,4-6 6 3 0 0 3 2

Thielbar 1 0 0 0 0 0

Burton 1 1 0 0 0 0

Perkins 1 0 0 0 0 1

Toronto

Dickey L,8-9 7 7 6 6 2 3

Oliver 1 0 0 0 0 1

J.Perez 1 0 0 0 0 2

HBP—by Dickey (Arcia). PB—Thole.

T—2:33. A—37,034 (49,282).