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Associated Press, Published September 08 2013

Rogers, Reyes lead Blue Jays to sweep over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS – Target Field hasn’t been providing much of a home-field advantage for the Minnesota Twins lately.

On Sunday, Toronto starter Esmil Rogers pitched well into the eighth inning and Jose Reyes’ late double broke a scoreless tie that led the Blue Jays past the Twins 2-0 for a three-game sweep. It was Minnesota’s 10th straight home loss, which is a franchise record.

“That’s terrible to be honest with you,” said Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who did his part in keeping it close, jumping high to rob a base hit from Brett Lawrie in the third inning. “We’re not playing very good. Offense, defense, anything.”

Rogers – who hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts – improved to 5-7 when he outdueled Twins rookie Andrew Albers, who took a no-decision despite a brilliant outing. Albers scattered four hits over seven innings with no walks and a season-high five strikeouts.

“I got away with a few pitches. Sometimes that happens,” said Albers. “But for the most part I was able to keep the ball down and over the plate. It’s a fine line in baseball. It’s an inch or two here and there. Guys are working hard, it just unfortunately isn’t happening for us right now.”

After Albers was lifted at the start of the seventh, the Blue Jays quickly got to Twins reliever Jared Burton (2-9). Ryan Goins led off with a single and came around to score on Reyes’ double two batters later. Reyes then stole third and scored when Brian Dozier couldn’t grab Rajai Davis’ pop-fly in shallow left to make it 2-0.

Brett Cecil and Sergio Santos combined to close out the eighth and Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 31 chances.

Toronto has won 10 of its last 13 games since a season-high seven-game losing streak from Aug. 18-24.

The Twins had a chance to take the lead after Pedro Florimon’s lead-off double in the sixth. Alex Presley followed with a single, but the speedy Florimon was held up at third by third base coach Joe Vavra, and then thrown out at home on Chris Herrmann’s ensuing grounder. Vavra said he lost sight of the ball, and held Florimon as a result.

“(Vavra) was bummed out about it in the dugout and said he lost sight of ball when Reyes dove,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “If you’ve never been out there you’d never understand that but when you’re coaching it’s a fast pace over there. It’s a very tough job. It may look like everybody can see the ball, but when a guy dives, he lost sight of it.”

Presley advanced to third on Brian Dozier’s long fly, but Oswaldo Arcia grounded out to short and ended the threat, drawing loud boos from the home crowd.

Toronto Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Reyes ss 4 1 2 1 Presley cf 3 0 2 0

RDavis cf-lf 4 0 1 1 CHrmn c 3 0 0 0

Lawrie 3b 4 0 0 0 Pinto ph-c 1 0 0 0

Lind dh 4 0 0 0 Dozier 2b 4 0 0 0

DeRosa 1b 3 0 2 0 Arcia lf 4 0 1 0

Sierra rf 4 0 0 0 Doumit dh 4 0 0 0

Arencii c 4 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 4 0 1 0

Goins 2b 3 1 2 0 Colaell 1b 3 0 0 0

Pillar lf 2 0 0 0 Thoms rf 3 0 0 0

Gose cf 0 0 0 0 Flormn ss 3 0 1 0

Totals 32 2 7 2 Totals 32 0 5 0

Toronto 000 000 020— 2

Minnesota 000 000 000— 0

E—Plouffe (12). DP—Minnesota 1. LOB—Toronto 5, Minnesota 6. 2B—Reyes (13), Florimon (16). SB—Reyes (14). CS—R.Davis (5). S—Pillar.

IP H R ER BB SO

Toronto

E.Rogers W,5-7 7Xc 3 0 0 1 4

Cecil 0 1 0 0 0 0

S.Santos H,6 Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Janssen S,29-31 1 1 0 0 0 2

Minnesota

A.Albers 7 4 0 0 0 5

Burton L,2-9 1 3 2 2 0 0

Perkins 1 0 0 0 1 1

Cecil pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

T—2:31. A—29,450 (39,021).