MINNEAPOLIS — Brian Dozier drove in the tiebreaking run with a triple in the seventh inning, lifting the Minnesota Twins past the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Saturday.
Blaine Boyer pitched a perfect ninth for his first save, giving major league leader Glen Perkins a break after the All-Star closer gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Chris Colabello the night before.
Kyle Gibson got the Blue Jays to hit into a double play in each of the first three innings, and the Twins bullpen allowed only one single in 11 batters while striking out four. Ryan Pressly (2-1) picked up the victory with a scoreless seventh.
Aaron Loup (1-3) relieved Aaron Sanchez in the seventh and surrendered a leadoff single to Aaron Hicks before the line drive by Dozier that glanced off diving right fielder Ezequiel Carrera’s glove. Dozier moved into second place in the American League with 26 extra-base hits, behind Toronto’s Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson’s streak of four straight games with a home run was stopped.
Gibson finished the month of May with a 3-1 record and a 1.36 ERA in six starts. He leads the majors with 13 double-play groundballs, a skill that sure came in handy against the highest-scoring team in baseball.
After leadoff man Jose Reyes stole second and took third on a throwing error by catcher Chris Herrmann in the third inning, the Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out. Russell Martin hit a soft bouncer back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play.
Herrmann made two errors, the first time in nine games the Twins were charged with any fielding flubs, but he homered against Sanchez in the third. Herrmann’s second error let the Blue Jays tie the game against Gibson in the sixth, when he tried to throw out Carrera on a beautiful sacrifice bunt up the third-base line.
Kevin Pillar answered for the Blue Jays with a solo shot in the fourth, his first home run since the first week of the season, but Trevor Plouffe’s RBI double in the fourth put the Twins back in front.
Blue Jays: 2B Devin Travis, who’s eligible to come off the DL on Monday at Washington, felt some stiffness in his shoulder after going 0 for 4 for Triple-A Buffalo on Friday in his rehab assignment. He was being held out of the lineup on Saturday as a precaution, manager John Gibbons said. … Jose Bautista, who has been limited to DH duty since aggravating his right shoulder during a throw in a game against Baltimore on April 21, is expected to grab his glove again and return to RF next week for interleague play.
Twins: With his team in a stretch of 12 games in 12 days, manager Paul Molitor gave RF Torii Hunter a rest, in favour of rookie Eddie Rosario. Sanchez has also been exceptionally difficult for right-handers, with a .160 batting average against.
Ricky Nolasco will pitch for the Twins in the series finale on Sunday afternoon, having won each of his five starts this month since recovering from elbow inflammation and returning from the disabled list. The right-hander struck out five without a walk in his last turn, logging 7 2-3 innings in a 7-2 victory over Boston.
The Blue Jays will send Drew Hutchison to the mound, fresh from his four-hit, all-singles, no-walk, eight-strikeout shutout of Chicago on Memorial Day. That was just the third time in the right-hander’s last 33 starts, dating back more than a full year, he finished more than seven innings.
Dave Campbell, The Associated Press