TORONTO (AP) — Luis Arráez went 4 for 4 with a walk, Gary Sánchez and Trevor Larnach homered and the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-6 Sunday.
Arráez leads baseball with a .358 batting average.
“It’s like he’s on fire all the time,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “That’s not normal. He’s difficult to pitch to. He can shoot a ball anywhere at any time on any pitch.”
Six different players drove in a run and the Twins collected a season-high 16 hits as they took two of three from the Blue Jays, cooling down a Toronto team that came into the series on an eight-game winning streak.
“This is one of the best teams in baseball right now,” Baldelli said of the Blue Jays. “They’re very tough.”
Sánchez hit a two-run homer off Jeremy Beasley in the eighth inning, his seventh of the season, and Larnach hit a solo blast off Adam Cimber in the seventh, his fourth of the year.
The Twins roughed up Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman (5-4). Gausman allowed season highs of nine hits and five runs, three earned, in 3 2-3 innings.
“Some of their guys laid off some pretty good splits that I was flabbergasted they didn’t swing at,” Gausman said. “You have to keep competing.”
Baldelli said he “couldn’t have been more pleased” with his team’s approach against Gausman.
“That split plays against everyone,” Baldelli said. “It plays against the right-handers, it plays against the left-handers. Finding ways to avoid trying to attack every pitch that’s coming out in a certain area, it’s a tough thing to do. There’s a reason why he’s so great, and he’s really good. But today, you know, the way that we attacked them worked today.”
It was the shortest of Gausman’s 11 starts this season, and the first time he has failed to finish five innings.
“It was a grind all day,” said Gausman, who added that he planned to review the video to see whether he was tipping his pitches.
Twins right-hander Devin Smeltzer allowed two runs and four hits in four innings.
Jharel Cotton (2-1), Griffin Jax, Joe Smith, Jhoan Duran each worked one inning. Tyler Duffey got two outs in the ninth and Jovani Moran retired Bo Bichette to strand runners at the corners to earn his first career save.
George Springer hit the 50th leadoff home run of his career and Santiago Espinal made it close with a three-run home run off Duffey, but the Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in 18 games.
Alejandro Kirk and Matt Chapman added solo home runs for Toronto. Springer’s homer was his 11th, Kirk connected for the fifth time, Chapman hit his seventh, and Espinal hit his fourth.
Springer also started an inning-ending double play in the sixth, racing back to the warning track in center to catch Sánchez’s deep drive, then helping double Nick Gordon off second.
Not all of Toronto’s defense was so good. Minnesota took advantage of an error by Teoscar Hernández to score three in the first. With runners at first and second, Jorge Polanco hit a fly ball to right but Hernández couldn’t make the catch.
Later in the first, the Blue Jays missed a chance at the third out when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. appeared to lose Jose Miranda’s foul pop up in the sun. Miranda ended up hitting an RBI single as the Twins scored three in the first.
“It was cloudy and then the sun came out,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I’m not defending my players, but that’s not the first time people drop fly balls.”
Neither Hernández nor Guerrero was wearing sunglasses in the first, but both had them on afterward.
Jermaine Palacios and Polanco each hit RBI singles in the second to put the Twins up 5-1.
Twins: Shortstop Carlos Correa is back in Minnesota after testing positive for COVID-19 in Detroit last week. Baldelli said Correa will likely need a couple of days of workouts before he returns to the lineup. … RHP Joe Ryan (COVID-19) will throw a second bullpen session Monday or Tuesday.
Toronto has two four-homer games this season but has lost both. The Blue Jays hit four but lost 12-6 to Texas on April 10.
STRONG ARM IN RIGHT
Hernández overcame his error with a pair of outfield assists. He threw out Miranda at third base to end the first, and nailed Gilberto Celestino at second to end the seventh.
Springer has seven leadoff home runs this season, breaking Devon White’s 1991 Blue Jays record.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Late Saturday, the Blue Jays traded LHP Ryan Borucki to Seattle for minor league INF Tyler Keenan. Borucki was designated for assignment last Tuesday.
Twins: Minnesota has not announced a starter for Monday’s home game against the Yankees. RHP Jameson Taillon (6-1, 2.30) starts for New York.
Blue Jays: RHP Ross Striping (1-1, 4.22) makes his first start in place of injured LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm) when Toronto opens a three-game series at Kansas City Monday. LHP Daniel Lynch (2-4, 4.81) goes for the Royals.
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