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Blue Jays 7, Twins 2: Changing things up

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A frustratingly dominant outing topples the Twins.

Texas Rangers v Minnesota Twins
“D’oh!”
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Before the game, I wondered how short Adalberto Mejia’s leash might be. The answer: pretty short.

Mejia allowed a 1st-inning jack to Josh Donaldson that staked the Blue Jays to an early lead. He recovered nicely, retiring the next eight batters, but things came apart in the 4th. After four straight hits from the middle of the Toronto lineup -- three singles and a double -- Mejia was pulled in favor of Dillon Gee, who helped the Twins escape the inning down just 3-0.

Marco Estrada was mostly untouchable, utilizing a baffling changeup to induce swings-and-misses and weak foul pop flies from the Minnesota batting order. Eddie Rosario’s 5th-inning homer marked the first Twins baserunner of the night (and technically, he didn’t even reach the bases so much as he ran around them and then returned to the dugout.)

Estrada didn’t pitch from the stretch until the 6th, when Brian Dozier singled up the middle for the team’s second hit of the night.

Meanwhile, Dillon Gee, and Alan Busenitz did about as well as they could have done, combining to pitch four innings, strike out five batters, and allow just one hit in relief of Mejia. Trevor Hildenberger’s fortunes were...less good.

A couple of seeing-eye singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Jose Bautista with nobody out in the top of the 8th. The world’s worst popup landed between three defenders in right field and rolled away from Brian Dozier, plating a pair of runners. Another single made it 6-1 Jays and knocked out Hildy.

That brought in the Michael Tonkin, the Toby Flenderson to Paul Molitor’s Michael Scott. Tonkin would end the Toronto rally, but the Blue Jays batted around in the inning.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Twins got their third hit -- the 19th homer of the year for Eduardo Escobar. It hardly mattered, as Josh Donaldson homered to dead center off Gabriel Moya, his second solo shot of the game.

Marco Estrada relinquished the mound to reliever Matt Dermody in the 9th, meaning the former has made 159 major league starts and never completed the game. Dermody pitched a scoreless 9th, which secureda win for the Blue Jays.

Tonight’s loss also locked up the American League Central Division title for the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins will need a win tomorrow to make it an even split against the Blue Jays before heading out to the Bronx for a pivotal series with the New York Yankees.

Studs:

Most of the bullpen

Duds:

Most of the lineup

Trevor Hildenberger (0 outs recorded, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB)

Bert Blyleven’s “This copyrighted telecast” speech

The Blue Jays fans who kept chanting “Let’s go, Blue Jays!”

Comment of the Gamethread: TJ Gorsegner: “Don’t be silly, SBN wouldn’t give out green paper!”

Robot Roll Call:

# Commenter # Comments
1 Brandon Brooks 35
2 Joel Hernandez 23
3 TJ Gorsegner 22
4 James Fillmore 19
5 Bb_referee 13
6 ctxsix18 10
7 less cowbell, more 'neau 10
8 Asthix 6
9 CG19 4
10 Can't Read Good 4
11 Coach Farmer 4
12 myjah 3
13 SooFoo Fan 2
14 Bat-Boy 2
15 Caleb A 1