What's buzzing:

Bautista, Lawrie lift Blue Jays over Twins 9-3

AP - Sports
Bautista, Lawrie lift Blue Jays over Twins 9-3

View gallery

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays were getting mowed down by Phil Hughes through the first five innings on a chilly night at Target Field, but the big swingers never panicked.

The Jays have a long history of beating up on the former Yankees right-hander, so they knew it was only a matter of time before they got him in his new home in Minnesota.

Jose Bautista had three hits and an RBI, and Brett Lawrie hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to help the Blue Jays beat the Twins 9-3 on Tuesday night.

Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and an RBI, and Aaron Loup (1-0) won in relief of starter Brandon Morrow, who lasted 3 2-3 innings in 35-degree weather. The Blue Jays led 5-2 going into the ninth before Lawrie's towering drive off Jared Burton put it away.

''I think it just took a little bit of getting used to,'' said Lawrie, who drove in five runs. ''We didn't hit (batting practice) today. We just rolled into town, so we kind of just hit in the cages and rolled right out into the game. So it just took a little bit to adjust once we got in the box. Once we got a few hits, it just started snowballing.''

Chris Colabello had three hits and an RBI, and Trevor Plouffe hit a solo home run for the Twins. But Hughes (0-1) watched an impressive start go to waste in Toronto's five-run sixth inning.

''He was cruising before that,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''I thought the ball was coming out of his hand really good. All of a sudden I think it was three or four hits in a row and I don't know what happened. He just couldn't get a ball where he wanted to and they put some really nice swings on the ball.''

Hughes gave up four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts in five-plus innings, snapping Minnesota's three-game winning streak.

Munenori Kawasaki had two hits, including a double, after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo to help replace Maicer Izturis, who is out for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee. Designated hitter Adam Lind, who had a walk, a single and scored a run, left in the seventh inning with tightness in his lower back.

The Blue Jays have historically hit the ball very well at pitcher-friendly Target Field and they were going against one of their favorite pitchers in Hughes, who faced them many times over the years with the New York Yankees. Toronto hit 15 home runs off Hughes in 116 2-3 innings while he was in pinstripes.

Hughes kept the ball in the ballpark and kept the Blue Jays off balance through five. He recorded all seven of his strikeouts and needed just 74 pitches to get to the sixth.

Then it all came apart. Hughes gave up four quick hits to start the inning, including RBI singles by Bautista and Encarnacion to get chased with two on and nobody out. Michael Tonkin gave up a single to load the bases, and a throwing error from catcher Kurt Suzuki later in the inning allowed Dioner Navarro to score for a 5-2 lead.

The big inning helped Toronto overcome a rough start from Morrow, who threw 98 pitches and couldn't get out of the fourth. Morrow gave up two runs and four hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

''We've got a good hitting team,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ''I figured that was not going to last very long. Hughes was tough on us early but we had that one big inning where we broke it open.''

Bautista played center field because Colby Rasmus needed an extra day to rest his ailing hamstring. It was the slugger's first start there since 2009 and he badly misplayed a sinking liner from Pedro Florimon, letting the ball get behind him for a triple.

Florimon scored on a single by Joe Mauer, who struck out three times, for a 2-0 lead.

NOTES: It was Lawrie's second career grand slam. ... Kawasaki was ruled out in the first inning when he laid down a bunt but stepped out of the batter's box with his left foot before making contact with the ball, which is illegal. ... Twins assistant GM Ron Antony said OF Oswaldo Arcia, on the disabled list with an injured wrist, received a cortisone injection in hopes of speeding his recovery. ... Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 7.84 ERA) pitches Wednesday night against RHP R.A. Dickey (1-2, 5.30).

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (7)
  • Close calls in Cy Young races; Harper, Donaldson for MVP

    Close calls in Cy Young races; Harper, Donaldson for MVP

    Here's how stacked the NL Cy Young race is: Max Scherzer struck out 276 batters with a 2.79 ERA and became the first major leaguer in 42 years to throw two no-hitters in one season. In a season filled with pitching performances for the ages, Jake … More »

    AP - Sports - 51 minutes ago
  • 4 moments that changed the 2015 baseball season

    4 moments that changed the 2015 baseball season

    It could have been one of the most memorable comebacks in Los Angeles Angels history, but instead it will go down as a mere footnote. When the Angels scored five runs in the ninth inning Saturday to beat the Texas Rangers 11-10, they kept … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 10 minutes ago
  • LEADING OFF: Skippers in peril, plus Astros and Yanks prep

    LEADING OFF: Skippers in peril, plus Astros and Yanks prep

    Last year, the Twins fired longtime skipper Ron Gardenhire less 24 hours after their final game. The Padres moved quickly Sunday, announcing that interim manager Pat Murphy won't lead the club next year. Washington manager Matt Williams could be … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 20 minutes ago
  • Playoff Push: Kershaw aims at redemption, stars set to debut

    Playoff Push: Kershaw aims at redemption, stars set to debut

    The Major League Baseball playoffs begin this week, starting Tuesday night with the American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. Big stars Andrew McCutchen, Prince Fielder and Zack Greinke, familiar faces David Wright, Johnny Cueto and Adam … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 33 minutes ago
  • Angels hire Yankees exec Eppler as GM

    Angels hire Yankees exec Eppler as GM

    The Los Angeles Angels hired longtime Yankees executive Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Sunday night. The 40-year-old Eppler replaces interim GM Bill Stoneman, who took over after Jerry Dipoto quit his job at midseason following his … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago