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The Sports Xchange, Published April 15 2014

Blue Jays best Twins

MINNEAPOLIS – A monster sixth inning lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field.

Trailing by two runs entering the sixth, the Jays strung together five straight hits and took advantage of an error, scoring five runs and chasing Twins starter Phil Hughes.

A ninth-inning grand slam by Toronto third baseman Brett Lawrie ended any hopes of a Minnesota comeback.

Jays center fielder Jose Bautista had three hits and an RBI and Lawrie knocked in five runs. Toronto now has 20 runs and 31 hits in its last two games.

Jays starter Brandon Morrow lasted only 3Xc innings, allowing four hits and four walks and striking out four batters. Reliever Aaron Loup picked up his first win of the season after working 1Zc scoreless innings.

Hughes took the loss, his first of the season. He has allowed four runs in each of his first three starts.

Right fielder Chris Colabello led the Minnesota offense with a career-high three hits, including an RBI double in the bottom of the first.

Hughes cruised through five innings, allowing four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts, but ran into a wall to start the sixth.

The Blue Jays hammered out six hits in the inning and took advantage of a Twins error to open a 5-2 lead. Four of the runs were charged to Hughes.

A leadoff double to Munenori Kawasaki started the inning before consecutive singles by Bautista, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion ended Hughes’ night. All four came around to score as Hughes ended up allowing eight hits and a walk in five-plus innings.

Jays catcher Dioner Navarro singled off Twins reliever Michael Tonkin to make it five straight hits before a groundout by Moises Sierra. Lawrie’s sacrifice fly to center scored a run, and Navarro came home after Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki’s attempt to throw him out advancing to third sailed into left field.

Minnesota put two runners on with two out in the eighth, but Brian Dozier grounded out to third, ending the threat.

Toronto added to its lead in the top of the ninth when Twins reliever Jared Burton loaded the bases with three straight two-out walks. He then left a 1-2 fastball up in the zone to Lawrie, who hammered it off the facing of the second deck in left for his third homer of the season and second career grand slam.

The Twins went ahead 1-0 in the first when Colabello smashed an RBI double off the wall in right that came within a foot of leaving the ballpark. It scored Dozier, who had led off the inning with a walk.

The Twins doubled their lead in the second when shortstop Pedro Florimon tripled into the gap in left center and scored two batters later on a sharp single to left by first baseman Joe Mauer.

TOR ab r h bi MIN ab r h bi

Cabrera lf 4 0 1 0 Dozier 2b 3 1 0 0

Kwski 2b 5 1 2 0 Mauer 1b 5 0 1 1

Butist cf 5 1 3 1 Plouffe 3b 5 1 1 1

Lind dh 2 1 1 0 Colbllo rf 5 0 3 1

Thole ph 2 0 0 0 Kubel lf 3 0 0 0

Encrncn 1b 4 2 2 1 Pinto dh 3 0 0 0

Navarro c 4 2 1 0 Suzuki c 3 0 0 0

Sierra rf 4 1 1 1 Hicks cf 3 0 0 0

Lawrie 3b 4 1 1 5 Flormon ss 2 1 1 0

Goins ss 5 0 2 0 Escobar ph 1 0 1 0

Totals 39 9 14 8 Totals 33 3 7 3

Toronto 000 005 004 — 9

Minnesota 110 000 001 — 3

E—Encarnacion 1, K.Suzuki 1. LOB—Minnesota 11, Toronto 9. 2B—Bautista (2), Colabello (6), Kawasaki (1). 3B—Florimon (1). HR—Lawrie (3), Plouffe (1). SB—A.Hicks (2).

IP H R ER BB SO

Toronto

Morrow 3 Xc 4 2 2 4 4

Loup W, 1-0 1 Zc 0 0 0 1 1

Wagner H, 2 1 Xc 0 0 0 0 1

Cecil H, 4 1 1 0 0 1 2

Delabar H, 2 Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Santos 1 2 1 1 0 1

Minnesota

Hughes L, 0-1 5 8 4 4 1 7

Tonkin 1 2 1 1 0 0

Thielbar Zc 2 0 0 0 0

Swarzak 1 Xc 1 0 0 1 0

Burton 1 1 4 4 3 0

Inherited runners-scored—Delabar 2-0, Loup 1-0, Swarzak 2-0, Tonkin 2-2. HBP—Kubel (by Loup).

Umpires—Home, Eric Cooper; First, Chris Guccione; Second, Pat Hoberg; Third, Tom Hallion.

T—3:31. A—21,818 (42,035)