MLB: Kevin Kiermaier’s two extra-base hits lift Jays past Twins
Kevin Kiermaier homered and tripled to help the Toronto Blue Jays earn a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Twins on Friday in the opener of a three-game series in Minneapolis.
Bo Bichette also had two hits, including a two-run homer, and George Springer doubled twice for the Blue Jays, who had lost seven of eight.
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Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman (3-3) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and issued a season-high five walks.
Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza and Nate Pearson combined for 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief before Jordan Romano pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Twins starter Louie Varland (2-1) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Minnesota was unable to take advantage of nine walks and stranded 13 runners while losing for the fourth time in the past five games.
Kiermaier and Bichette hit their homers in the third inning to account for all of Toronto’s runs.
Kiermaier pulled a two-out, 1-2 slider deep over the fence in right for a 1-0 lead.
Springer followed with his second straight double before Bichette lifted a two-run homer over the fence in center for a 3-0 lead.
Gausman, who had walked just 11 batters in 63 innings coming in, walked his fourth and fifth batters of the game in the sixth inning before Kyle Garlick came through with a one-out double to make it 3-1 and end Gausman’s night.
Swanson came in and walked pinch hitter Joey Gallo to load the bases, but Swanson struck out Michael A. Taylor looking on a 3-2 pitch and then got Donovan Solano to ground into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
Twins shortstop Carlos Correa returned after missing two games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and he made a key defensive play in the first inning.
With Springer on third base and one out, Correa fielded a grounder by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with the infield in and tagged out the runner between home and third before throwing to first and getting Guerrero trying to scramble back to the bag.
Kiermaier was caught in a rundown between home and third for the second out in the fifth inning.
–Field Level Media
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