It wasn’t his leaping catch at the center-field wall that Minnesota’s Max Kepler liked most about Monday’s game John Sullivan Jersey
, or his two-run homer.
It was the final score.
Logan Morrison homered and had three RBIs, Kepler added a two-run blast and the Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3, snapping a three-game losing streak.
”It’s a good feeling,” Kepler said. ”We’ll build off that.”
Joe Mauer and Mitch Garver each had three hits and right-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings for his first win of the season as the Twins bounced back after being swept at Kansas City over the weekend.
The Twins had 13 hits, all in the first five innings. It’s the fourth time this month Minnesota has collected 13 hits in a game.
”After Kansas City, we had to come out and swing the bats well,” manager Paul Molitor said. ”A lot of guys had good nights.”
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays. Toronto swept a three-game series from Baltimore over the weekend but couldn’t extend its winning streak against the Twins.
Promoted from Triple-A Rochester to make his second start of the season, Mejia allowed one run and eight hits.
”To get into the sixth inning and only give up one run, you’ve got to be pleased with that,” Molitor said.
Mejia left with the bases loaded but Matt Belisle came on and retired two straight to escape the jam.
The Blue Jays gave right-hander Luis Santos his first career start because right-hander Marco Estrada remains sidelined with a strained left gluteal muscle. Santos (0-1) allowed one run and three hits in two innings.
”It didn’t work too well,” manager John Gibbons said of the parade of relievers. ”At the big league level you never want to do that, but sometimes you have to.”
Eduardo Escobar hit an RBI triple off Santos in the first and Morrison delivered a two-run single off left-hander Tim Mayza in the third.
Gurriel homered in the bottom half, his fifth Brian Dawkins Jersey
, but Mauer and Escobar hit RBI singles in the fourth before Morrison and Kepler both connected off Joe Biagini in Minnesota’s three-run fifth.
Kepler’s 13th homer came after he struck out in his first two at-bats.
”I felt like I was swinging too hard,” he said. ”I just tried to put an easy swing on that one to put it in play and it snuck out.”
Morrison is 4 for 10 in his past two games after returning from the disabled list Saturday. He’d been out since July 11 because of a sore left hip.
”Usually it takes guys a little bit of time to get back in the swing of things but he looks great,” Kepler said.
Kepler ran all the way from left-center to right-center to retire Randal Grichuk in the third, jumping into the outfield scoreboard to make the grab.
”Surprisingly it didn’t hurt that bad,” Kepler said. ”My knee kind of went into that plastic cover but it feels fine.”
TRAGEDY IN TORONTO
A moment of silence was held before the game for the victims of Sunday night’s shooting in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood. Two people died and 13 were injured.
COOL IT DOWN
Mejia was grateful to pitch under a dome after dealing with extreme heat in his previous start, June 30 at Chicago against the Cubs. Teammates Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Bobby Wilson all left that game because of heat-related illness.
Twins: RHP Michael Pineda (elbow surgery) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment with a two-inning stint for Class A Fort Myers on Aug. 6. … RHP Addison Reed (elbow) will throw 20 to 25 pitches of live batting practice Tuesday. … RHP Alan Busenitz was optioned to Rochester to open a roster spot for Mejia.
Blue Jays: Estrada was supposed to make a rehab start at Double-A New Hampshire on Monday, but travel complications forced a change of venue. Estrada will now pitch at Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. … OF Kevin Pillar played catch for the first time since a sternoclavicular joint injury when he made a diving catch at Boston on July 14. … RHP Danny Barnes (left knee) will begin a rehab assignment at Class A Dunedin on Tuesday. … Triple-A RHP Chris Rowley, the first West Point graduate to play in the major leagues, was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers.
Twins RHP Jose Berrios (9-7, 3.68) faces Blue Jays LHP Ryan Borucki (0-1, 3.52) on Tuesday. Berrios matched a season worst by allowing six earned runs in his previous outing, July 14 against Tampa Bay. Borucki will be called up from Buffalo to make his fifth big league start.
A nine-game stretch against the National League’s three last-place teams — Miami [url=[http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-travis-frederick-jersey]Travis Frederick Jersey[/url] , Cincinnati and San Diego — seemed like a chance for the St. Louis Cardinals to fatten their record and make a surge up the National League Central ladder.
Instead, St. Louis wasn’t even able to tread water. It went 4-5 in that span, including consecutive 4-2 losses Tuesday and Wednesday night to a San Diego Padres team that currently looks like a cellar-dweller in name only, having won five straight series.
Now the Cardinals (36-30) will have to get their work done against better teams. Beginning with the opener of a three-game series Friday night in Busch Stadium against the Chicago Cubs (38-27), they play 19 straight games against teams that currently have winning records.
What’s more, they’ll play this weekend without their most consistent hitter, first baseman Jose Martinez, who leads the team in all three Triple Crown categories (.321 average, 10 HR, 42 RBIs). He’ll miss the series on paternity leave in Venezuela.
“It’s a big series for us, but that’s a monumental life event,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
Luke Voit will be recalled from Double-A Springfield to replace Martinez on the roster. The big right-handed hitter could get a couple of starts this weekend as Chicago will trot out left-handed starters Jon Lester and Jose Quintana.
Lester (7-2, 2.22 ERA) gets the call in the series opener Brandin Cooks Jersey
, which, if this year’s form is any indication, may become a pitcher’s duel. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Michael Wacha (8-1, 2.47), who will seek his ninth straight win.
Lester is coming off a 2-0 win Saturday at Wrigley Field against Pittsburgh, allowing only one hit in seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts. In his last eight starts, Lester is 5-1 with a 1.63 ERA, and he hasn’t permitted a run in his two starts this month.
He’s 1-0 in two starts this year against the Cardinals, permitting only two earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. In his career against St. Louis, Lester is 6-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 16 starts, limiting hitters to a .220/.282/.344 slash line.
Wacha hasn’t lost since March 31 against the New York Mets and is building a case for his second All-Star appearance. In his last start on Saturday, Wacha beat Cincinnati 6-4, permitting four hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and six whiffs.
He has faced the Cubs once this year Dan Bailey Jersey
, working 5 1/3 innings and yielding two runs (one earned) on May 6 in a no-decision as the Cardinals won 4-3 in 14 innings. But Wacha has been rocked most of his career against Chicago, as he’s 4-7 with a 6.12 ERA in 17 outings, including 15 starts.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has had his way with Wacha, going 18-of-40 in his career with three homers. Chicago teammates Ian Happ, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras also have two homers each against Wacha.
The Cubs lost two of three in Milwaukee this week, suffering 4-0 and 1-0 losses in the series’ final two games and falling 1 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the Central.
“We almost should be grateful we won one of three,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “We played well the first game, then shutout, shutout.” Keita Bates-Diop Jersey