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Twins 4, Blue Jays 1: An all-around team win

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Polanco and Cruz keyed the Twins’ offense while Odorizzi bounced back

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

One of the keys to a playoff-worthy season is to avoid getting swept in three and four-game series. And on Wednesday night, the Twins ensured that a sweep wouldn’t be an option.

After a pair of hard-luck losses — a two-run, bullpen-blown game on Monday and a comeback thwarted not once but twice in a one-run loss on Tuesday — the Twins jumped out in front by a score of 2-1 in the first inning and held on for dear life while gradually growing their lead.

One week after his control collapse in New York against the Mets, Odorizzi was much better and earned his first win of the season. While he wasn’t extremely efficient (101 pitches in 5 23 innings) he got the job done, with six hits and one walk given up versus six strikeouts.

After the Blue Jays scored a run in the top of the first on a pair of singles with a fly out in between that advanced the runner to second base, the Twins countered with two runs after a double from Max Kepler, a walk to Jorge Polanco, a passed ball, and a two-run single from Nelson Cruz.

The Twins scored another one in the third inning on back-to-back doubles from Polanco and Cruz. Then, walks to Cruz and C.J. Cron were followed by a single from Marwin Gonzalez that expanded the Twins’ lead to 4-1.

After Odorizzi exited in the sixth inning, Adalberto Mejia bounced back nicely from the issues he experienced on Tuesday with 1 13 scoreless innings. The Jays hit the ball fairly hard off of him, but he was helped by a line drive double-play to Cron at first base.

Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth inning with one hit and two strikeouts, and Blake Parker notched his fourth save of the season with two strikeouts and zero shenanigans in the ninth.

Notes

  • Cruz accounted for three of the Twins four runs, driving in two in the first and scoring the Twins’ fifth inning run. News flash: having him in the middle of the lineup is a game-changer.
  • Don’t look now, but the Twins just might have a more-than-decent starting rotation. The overall numbers don’t look great for Odorizzi on the season, but three of his four starts were mostly good, save for the meltdown against the Mets. The Twins will expect more out of Odorizzi, as well as Kyle Gibson, but if Jose Berrios pitches like an ace, Michael Pineda is truly ready for a bounceback, and Martin Perez has found something to revive his career, then look out A.L. Central.
  • The Twins will look to secure a winning homestand on Thursday; ‘W’ would give them a 4-2 stint at Target Field this time around.

Studs

Nelson Cruz: 2-for-3, BB, 2 RBI, R

Jorge Polanco: 2-for-3, BB, 2 R,

Marwin Gonzalez: 2-for-3, BB, 1 RBI

Twins’ bullpen: 2 23 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 0 BB

Duds

Jonathan Schoop: 0-for-4, now 0-fer in his last 15 at-bats